Security has been beefed up in several States today amid protests against the Centre’s new Agnipath recruitment scheme.
After the policy, which allows Indian youths to serve in the regular cadre of the Armed Forces for a period of four years, was announced on June 14, protests erupted in various states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand and Assam.
As the agitation intensified in some places, protestors went on the rampage setting trains on fire, torching vehicles and damaging both private and public properties.
Congress conducted peaceful protests across the country on Monday against the anti-youth Agnipath recruitment scheme.
However, following protests, the Central government announced an increase in the upper age limit for the recruitment of Agniveers from 21 years to 23 years for the recruitment cycle of 2022 as it has not been possible to undertake the recruitment during the last two years. Meanwhile, police in several states have announced measures and tightened security for June 20 protest.
In Delhi’s neighbouring areas Faridabad and Noida, Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which prohibits the assembly of four or more persons, has been imposed.
Uttar Pradesh Police said that strict action will be taken against those found involved in jeopardising peace.
Punjab Police’s ADGP Law and Order has directed the CPs and SSPs across the state to be on alert and asked them to monitor the activities of social media groups which are actively mobilizing or spreading instigating information about the scheme.
As a precautionary measure, all schools in Jharkhand will remain closed today in the wake of the protests called by certain organisations, the state education official informed on Sunday.
All schools in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur will also remain shut, as per the order by the district administration. While the government points out that the ‘Agnipath’ scheme gives a golden opportunity to the youth to join the defence system and serve the country, Congress had said the recruitment policy is controversial, carries multiple risks, subverts the long-standing traditions and ethos of the armed forces and there is no guarantee that the soldiers recruited under the scheme will be better trained and motivated to defend the country.