Entry and exit gates of some Delhi Metro stations were closed on Friday as members of the Left-affiliated All India Students’ Association protested against the Agnipath scheme for recruitment in the armed forces and demanded its rollback.
In a series of tweets, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation alerted commuters about the closure of gates of stations due to “security reasons”.
The AISA also demonstrated against police action on those protesting against the Agnipath scheme, that since its announcement has kicked off a firestorm across the country.
The DMRC said in its tweets, which were updated frequently, that due to “security reasons” that initially some gates of the ITO Metro Station and Dhansa Bus Stand Metro Station were closed.
Later all gates of Dhansa Bus Stand were closed briefly.
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Around 12:40 PM, the DMRC tweeted, “All gates of ITO Metro Station are closed.”
It further updated said all gates of Delhi Gate and Jama Masjid Metro Stations were also briefly closed.
The government on Thursday night raised the upper age limit for recruitment under the ‘Agnipath’ scheme to 23 years from 21 for 2022 amid widespread protest against the new model for enrolment of soldiers into the three services.
Unveiling the scheme on Tuesday, the government said youths between the age of 17 and-a-half and 21 years would be inducted for a four-year tenure while 25 per cent of the recruits will be retained for regular service.
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The protesters in Delhi on Friday held placards, bearing messages: “Immediately fill all the post lying vacant in defence forces on permanent basis”; “Rollback Aginpath scheme”; and “Wake up Modi government”.
They also raised slogans at the ITO roundabout. “Agnipath wapas lo, tanashahi nahin chalegi (take back Agnipath, dictatorship won’t be allowed).”
A senior police officer said that there were 17 to 18 people gathered at ITO to hold a protest. They were detained and immediately removed from the area, he said.
“We are demanding the rollback of the Agnipath Scheme as it will lead to the contractualisation of Defence jobs. Shame on the Modi government for playing with the future of youth,” AISA National President N Sai Balaji said.