Protesters from the ‘Agnipath’ set fire to 12 trains and blocked roads
Angry mobs set trains on fire and battled with police in various states over the new military recruitment strategy, Agnipath. At least one person was killed, and numerous others were injured. The initiative has been defended by the government, which has described it as “transformative.” In Secunderabad, Telangana, one person was killed and around 15 others were injured as violent protests spread across the southern state. Violent agitation has occurred in several states, including Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh, over the new program.
In Bihar, Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi’s home in Bettiah, West Champaran district, was damaged amid protests against a new recruitment policy that has sparked a firestorm. “Such acts of violence are extremely dangerous to society. Protesters should keep in mind that this is a societal loss “Ms Devi told NDTV that she is now in Patna. The violence, which began on Wednesday, has been concentrated in Bihar.
In Uttar Pradesh, a mob stormed a railway station in Ballia this morning, setting fire to a train coach and causing damage to station property before being dispersed by police. In Varanasi, Firozabad, and Amethi, protests erupted, inflicting damage to government buses and other emblems of public property. In Aligarh, a car belonging to a local BJP politician was set on fire.
Since the protests began on Wednesday, at least 12 trains have been set on fire, and over 150 others have been disrupted – 110 have been cancelled, and 47 have failed to arrive at their destinations – according to the Railways.Following the protests, the age limit for Agnipath recruiting has been lifted to 23 from 21 as a “one-time waiver.” The government has also issued a 10-point defence of the programme, assuring recruits that they will not be left stranded after serving four years in the military.
The opposition has intensified its criticism of the government over the new recruitment process, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to put their patience to the test by forcing them to walk on Agnipath. Meanwhile, Akhilesh Yadav, the head of the Samajwadi Party, termed the decision “negligent” and potentially “fatal” for the country’s future.
Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright