scorecardProtest against 'Agnipath' turns violent in MP's Gwalior district
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Protest against 'Agnipath' turns violent in MP's Gwalior district

Protest against 'Agnipath' turns violent in MP's Gwalior district
IndiaIndia5 min read
Protest in Delhi-Jaipur highway    IANS
Hundreds of protesters on Thursday launched massive protest which soon turned violent in Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh against the Centre's 'Agnipath' recruitment scheme. Police had to resort to lathi-charge to disperse the mob.

Protesters went on a rampage, damaging and vandalising public properties at Birla Nagar railway station in Gwalior. Protesters broke the windows of some trains, set things on fire, burnt tyres and raised slogans against the Centre's new recruitment policy. Train movement was affected in North Central Railway's Jhansi division.

The protesters blocked the movement of at least 6-7 trains by keeping wooden logs, tree branches and other railway properties on tracks.

They also resorted to violence on the main roads breaking window panes of buses and other vehicles.

Violence was also reported in the Gole ka Mandir area of Gwalior. Protesters created ruckus on busy roads damaging private vehicles. It stopped only after police reached the spot.

Videos of violent protests surfaced on social media which showed the ransacking of the office of Birla Nagar railway station manager.

However, police, which were rushed to the spot, lathicharged on the protesters and dispersed them from the spot. Several protesters have been detained by the police.

The city witnessed multiple protests on Thursday since morning.

Gwalior is the region from where majority of youths line up for police and military services every year.
It was a narrow escape for BJP MLA Aruna Devi after a large number of aspirants tried to attack her when she was passing through a railway crossing in Nawada on Thursday.

Aruna Devi was on the way to district headquarters, Nawada city, to participate at an event. When her car reached the railway crossing of Nawada railway station, a large number of protesters attacked her. They pelted stones on her vehicles. She somehow managed to escape in her car. Her driver however sustained minor injuries in the incident.

In Bihar's Gopalganj district, the agitating aspirants set three coaches of a passenger train on fire at Sidhwalia railway station.

In Chhapra, the protesters attacked as many as 12 trains and set three of them on fire. In Kaimur, they set Inter-city Express train on fire.

More than 15 districts across Bihar on Thursday witnessed massive protests and vandalism against the Agnipath scheme.

An agitating student in Chhapra said that the central government wants to push students into the criminal activities as they will have nothing to do after four years of service in defence forces.

"After four years of job, a youth becomes trained in military skills and combat. Once he becomes unemployed, what will he do? He will take up terrorism, criminal activities and even police will not be able to arrest such youth. They will be more skilful in military combat than police personnel," an agitating youth said.

Another youth said: "Why Agnipath scheme is not implemented on officers. They should also be brought into this scheme and restricted for four years of service."

The majority of the aspirants demanded withdrawal of the Agnipath scheme and start of normal recruitment into defence forces.

As the Army aspirants' protests against the Centre's Agnipath scheme entered the second day in Bihar, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Thursday said that the Centre has introduced MGNREGA scheme in the defence forces.

"The Narendra Modi government has promised jobs to 80 crore youth of the country till 2022. After many years, this government has come up with recruitments in defence forces on contractual basis. This is a kind of MGNREGA scheme introduced in the defence forces. This is the pathetic outcome of promises of a government having massive victory in previous elections," Tejashwi said on his official twitter handle.

He also shared a news article on PM Modi's promise of providing 80 crore jobs till 2022.

Arvind Kumar Singh, the state spokesperson of BJP said: "The Narendra Modi government has taken a historic decision to launch Agnipath scheme in the country. It will give a boost to the defence forces and also make positive changes to make it stronger. The youth will get attractive salary packages and rigorous training. After the completion of tenure of four years, they will get certificates which help in searching for new jobs in future."

Protest in Bihar for the second consecutive day

Meanwhile, the protest continues on the second day in several districts of Bihar against the Agnipath scheme of center.

The protesters blocked Patna-New Delhi main train route at Buxar and Bhojpur districts. The agitating students had gathered in large numbers in Arrah and Buxar railway stations and damaged the railway properties.

They pelted stones on the offices and platforms of these two stations leading to complete chaos. Several trains were stopped at Bihta, Bihiya, Dumraon, Raghunathpur, Chausa and other railway stations.

Similar protests were also seen in Kaimur, Rohtas, Aurangabad, Nawada, Gaya, Jahanabad, Chapra, Munger, Saharsa and other districts.

The agitators mainly targeted railway stations and trains in these districts.

Delhi-Jaipur highway blocked

Hundreds of Army aspirants on Thursday blocked the Delhi-Jaipur Expressway in Gurugram's Bilaspur area in protest against Agnipath yojna, the government's new scheme for short-term recruitment into the armed forces.

The traffic congestion on the expressway stretched over several kilometres. The protesting defence aspirants raised slogans against the PM Modi-led BJP government and demanded roll back of the new scheme.

"The government should roll back the four-year plan. This new scheme will hamper the interest of the aspirants to join the Army to serve the nation," a protester said.

A cop at the traffic police control room also confirmed the traffic snarl on the Delhi-Jaipur expressway near Bilaspur.

"Our traffic personnel are on the spot to divert the traffic and pacify the protesters to clear the jam as they have stopped trucks in the middle of the highway to hamper the traffic movement on the expressway," he said.

People in several districts of Uttar Pradesh also join the protest

Protests began in some districts of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday against the 'Agnipath' recruitment scheme of the Central government.

Students blocked the GT road in Bulandshahr and raised slogans demanding the withdrawal of the scheme which allow short-term recruitment in the armed forces.

The district officials had a tough time in persuading the protesters to call off the blockade. The protesters submitted a memorandum to the district magistrate.

In Gonda, the protests were led by students who carried placards and shouted slogans against the scheme.

Similarly, in Unnao too, protests were held with students and unemployed youth demanding that recruitment be done in the traditional way instead of short-term contract.

(With inputs from IANS)