Protests Against Agnipath Scheme Erupt In Many Cities

Story Highlights
  • Army aspirants disrupted rail and road traffic in several parts of Bihar
  • They raised slogans against the scheme
  • The protesters claim that they will get the job only for 4 years

Bihar: Unhappy over the government’s Agnipath scheme to induct soldiers on short-term contract into the armed forces, aspirants protested in Bihar on Wednesday, blocking a highway in Muzaffarpur and railway tracks in Buxar. They termed the scheme, announced on Tuesday, detrimental to their long-term prospects because only up to 25 per cent of the recruits or Agniveers under the scheme may get regular commission.

“Bharti do ya arthi do (Give us jobs or have us killed)” was among the slogans as the protesting young men burnt tyres and hoardings in heaps on National Highway 28, which links Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh to Barauni in Bihar, in Muzaffarpur. Similar scenes were witnessed at Chakkar Chowk near the city’s railway station, merely half a kilometre from Chakkar Maidan where army recruitment rallies are held.

Age requirement for recruits under the Agnipath scheme is 17.5 to 21 years.”The government is playing a game with us like PUBG,” said another protester, adding, “No BJP leader has said anything even when their government has been holding back recruitment for so long. We will continue to protest until the government takes some big decisions to help us.”

Recruitments will begin within the next 90 days, it has been announced. The first batch will be ready by July 2023. There are reports that the armed forces will try to give a Class 12 certificate to a Class 10 student who joins as an Agniveer. So far, there is little clarity on educational qualification certificates, though the University Grants Commission has also said it will try to accommodate the scheme into its degree system.

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