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Over 600 trains cancelled today as 'Agnipath' protesters demand rollback
Agnipath row
Congress leaders protesting Agnipath scheme/ image credit: UNI

Over 600 trains cancelled today as 'Agnipath' protesters demand rollback

| @indiablooms | 21 Jun 2022, 01:02 am

New Delhi/IBNS: Over 600 trains were cancelled on Monday as part of the Bharat Bandh call against the 'Agnipath' military recruitment scheme. 

The protesters are demanding a rollback of the scheme while the government is standing its ground.

The Indian Army on Monday issued a notification for ‘Agniveers’ under the recently announced Agnipath recruitment schemes.

The notification was issued by the Army amid protests against it in many corners of the country.

The online registration begins in July, said the notification even as protests rocked the country.

Over 600 trains have been cancelled on Monday in view of the Bharat Bandh call in parts of the country over the centre's 'Agnipath' scheme.

The railways suffered a major loss of property due to arson and rioting by the protesters over the last five days.

Congress leaders have sat on a 'Satyagraha' at Jantar Mantar in the national capital to express solidarity with the armed forces aspirants protesting against the 'Agnipath' scheme. Some Youth Congress workers were detained after they blocked a train at the Shivaji Bridge railway station near Connaught Place.

Parts of Delhi witnessed traffic jams as the police have tightened security across the city and its bordering areas.

In a bid to assuage the protesters, the Narendra Modi government on Saturday announced a 10 per cent reservation for 'Agniveers' (future recruits) in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Assam Rifles.

Despite the Centre's steps to address the concerns over the 'Agnipath' defence recruitment scheme, protests in several states continue with the job aspirants demanding a rollback of the scheme.

In Haryana, a group of job aspirants blocked the Lal Batti Chowk in Fatehabad, while several others staged a protest on roads in Rohtak district.

Security has been stepped up at several locations in Kerala, Telangana, West Bengal and Rajasthan also to avoid any untoward incidents.

Uttar Pradesh Police said strict action will be taken against those found involved in jeopardising peace.

In Punjab, the police have been asked to monitor the activities of social media groups which are allegedly mobilising or spreading instigating information about the scheme.

The Bihar government has increased security at party offices considered vulnerable. As of now, internet services remain shut in 20 districts. In Jharkhand, all schools will remain closed today amid protests over the 'Agnipath' scheme.

What is the Agnipath scheme?

The Centre unveiled Agnipath scheme on Tuesday what it as a "transformative" one for the recruitment of soldiers in the Army, Navy and the Air Force, largely on a four-year short-term contractual basis.

The youth selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers.

"Agnipath allows patriotic and motivated youth to serve in the Armed Forces for a period of four years," read the statement issued by the defence ministry.

The age limit for Agnipath recruitment has now been raised to 23 from 21 as a "one-time waiver" following the protests.

The government has also put out a 10-point defence of the scheme and assured recruits they will not find themselves in the lurch after completing their four years in the military.

On completion of the engagement period of four years, Agniveers will be paid one time ‘SevaNidhi’ package which shall comprise their contribution including accrued interest thereon and matching contribution from the Government equal to the accumulated amount of their contribution including interest.
 

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