Agnipath: A trail of fiery slogans, blockades and arson across 7 states | India News



NEW DELHI: The Centre’s Agnipath program to recruit young people into the armed forces for an initial four-year period sparked a series of fiery protests across states on Thursday, with Bihar reporting arson attacks and attacks on the offices of the BJP along with blockades for the second consecutive day, and parts of UP, Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Bengal join in the chaos.
The unrest that began in Buxar, Begusarai and Muzaffarpur in Bihar on Wednesday quickly spread to 17 districts in the state, throwing road and rail communications into a web of disruption. The protesters, apparently mostly young job seekers, blocked trains on the Patna-Gaya and Patna-Buxar roads and blocked road traffic in Begusarai and Jehanabad.

A BJP office was set on fire and party MP Aruna Devi’s vehicle was attacked in Nawada. The residence of party legislator Dr CN Gupta was vandalized at Chhapra in Saran. Another group of protesters ransacked a BJP office in Madhubani. The bogies of at least three trains in Bhabhua, Chhapra and Gopalganj were set on fire. The windows of 12 other trains were damaged by pelters in different districts.
Two cops, including an SI, and a train passenger were injured by relentless stone throwing for two hours at Bhabua station.
“We prepared for years to enter the armed forces, only to be told that the guaranteed period of employment will be four years. We want the old recruitment process reinstated,” said Pushkar Kushawahaamong a group of men squatting on a train track in Motihari.
“What are we going to do after four years of service? The government said that only 25% of those recruited would continue for another 15 years under permanent commission,” said Rakesh Kumarfrom the village of Alouli protesting at the Khagaria railway station.

ADG (Law and Order) Sanjay Singh said those who engage in vandalism and damage to public property will be identified by video footage and penalised. He suggested these job seekers could face a “bleak future” in terms of employability.
Internet and text messaging were suspended for 24 hours and Section 144 was blocked in Haryana’s Palwal after protesters threw rocks at police and torched vehicles, triggering a baton charge. At least 14 of the protesters were arrested. “We check videos uploaded to social media and CCTV cameras to identify those who have engaged in violence,” SP said. Mukesh Malhotra.
Two special investigation teams have been formed to investigate the violence.
In western UP, hundreds of vehicles and commuters were stuck on the Agra-Delhi highway for nearly two hours after protesters blocked it from both sides near Raipura Jat Mathura village. A state-run bus passing through Agra’s Bah was pelted with rocks. Police charged at protesters with batons and arrested several for blocking the city’s MG Road for nearly an hour.
Aligarh saw groups of youths armed with sticks taking the Delhi-Gabhana road. Protesters also blocked roads in Khurja area of ​​Bulandshahr and Meerut districts in the morning.

hours before Prime Minister Narendra ModiDuring HP’s Dharamshala roadshow, protesters blocked Pathankot-Mandi highway in Gagaal town of Kangra district. The unrest lasted for several hours as the group shouted slogans against the prime minister and tore down posters depicting BJP officials. As the protesters marched towards Dharamshala, there was a brief scuffle with police before several of them were arrested.
Hundreds of youths under the banner of Youth Congress staged protests at Gandhi Chowk in Hamirpur. They burned effigies of PM Modi and CM Himachal Jai Ram Thakur.
Protests have also erupted across Congress-ruled Rajasthan, with police using force to disperse crowds in Sikar, Bhilwara and Jodhpur. In Jaipur, traffic came to a halt in the Bani Park collector area after several young men, led by Hanuman Beniwal of RLP, converged on the area. Beniwal had said on Wednesday that he was part of a delegation that met Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, urging him to hold army recruitment rallies. He said Singh assured the delegation of a “two-year relaxation” in implementing the new recruitment rules.
Groups of protesters also blocked the Ajmer-Delhi highway near Karni Vihar. In Udaipur, protesters swelled outside the District Collector’s office, shouting slogans against the central government and handing over a memorandum to the ADM. Some protesters in Jodhpur threw stones at police as they dispersed.
In Barmer, RLP workers and youth stopped a train, leading to a confrontation with police before fleeing.
Section 144 was blocked in five areas of MP’s Mhow Police Station on Thursday evening as a preventive measure.
The North 24-Parganas district of Bengal witnessed a protest by a group of 100 people which blocked traffic in Bhatpara and left the roads littered with burning tyres.


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