Agneepath: Rajnath Singh on Tuesday announced the Agnipath scheme. (File)
New Delhi: The agitation against the Centre’s Agnipath Army recruitment scheme intensified on Friday, with protestors setting some train coaches on fire. The incident took place at Bihar’s Mohiuddinagar station. According to reports, the coaches belonged to the Jammu Tawi Express. A mob also vandalised a train at Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia station. Ballia DM Saumya Agarwal told reporters that forces have been deployed at the district’s railway stations.
Meanwhile, in Haryana, the Agnipath protest took a violent turn. The Haryana government suspended internet services in Palwal as well as the Ballabhgarh area of neighbouring Faridabad district. The department in a statement said that there is a likelihood of “tension, annoyance, obstruction or injury to persons, danger to human life and property, disturbance of public peace and tranquillity” in Ballabgarh sub-division by the agitated protesters, in view of the potential law and order situation in the adjourning Palwal district over the Agnipath scheme.
“In order to stop the spread of disinformation and rumours through various social media platforms, on mobile phones and SMS, for facilitation and mobilisation of mobs… In the exercise of powers conferred upon me by virtue of Section 5 of Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 to be read along with Rule (2) of Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety ) Rules, 2017, Home Secretary, Haryana, I do hereby order the suspension of mobile internet services… All SMS services… And all dongle services etc. Provided on mobile networks except the voice call in the territorial jurisdiction of Sub Division Ballabgarh,” the order read.
Army aspirants are miffed with the changes in the recruitment pattern under the Agnipath scheme. They are upset with the Centre doing away with pensions, increasing the age limit from 16.5 to 17.5 years and reducing the length of service from 15 years to 5 years.
Huge crowds gathered in the Bihar`s Chhapra, Jehanabad, Munger and Nawada areas of Bihar, demanding the withdrawal of the Agnipath scheme. A group of army aspirants protested at Bhabua Road Railway Station and blocked the tracks before setting a train on fire. The Central government extended the upper age limit to 23 years for 2022. The armed forces will recruit 46,000 Agniveers this year.
With inputs from PTI, ANI