The announcement from the Union Home Ministry came as violent protests rocked the country against the new scheme.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh is currently holding a meeting at his residence in Delhi amid continued protests against the project.
Here’s a look at some of the other major story developments:
10% Quota, Upper Age Relaxation for Agniveers: Amit Shah
The Union Home Ministry (MHA) on Saturday announced a 10% quota along with a relaxation of the upper age limit for Agniveers for recruitment into the Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPF) and Assam Rifles.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) decides to set aside 10% of vacancies for recruitment into the CAPFs and Assam Rifles for Agniveers.
— गृहमंत्री कार्यालय, HMO India (@HMOIndia) 1655522795000
Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted: ‘Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) decides to set aside 10% vacancies for CAPF recruitment and Assam Rifles for Agniveers.’ “The MHA also decides to grant an age relaxation of 3 years beyond the prescribed upper age limit to Agniveers for recruitment into the CAPFs and Assam Rifles.
The MHA also decides to grant a relaxation of 3 years beyond the upper age limit prescribed for Agniveers for recruitment… https://t.co/KLviz4pUYM
— गृहमंत्री कार्यालय, HMO India (@HMOIndia) 1655522796000
Also, for the first batch of Agniveer, the age easing will be 5 years beyond the prescribed upper age limit,” said another tweet from Minister Shah.
Supreme court plea asks SIT to investigate violence
A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court asking for the establishment of a special investigative team to investigate the violent protests against the Center’s new program.
In addition, the plea aims to inquire about the damage caused to the public domain, including that of the railway tracks.
Secunderabad hit by violence under tight security
Rail services at Secunderabad station in Hyderabad have resumed, a senior South Central Railway official confirmed on Saturday.
The development came a day after arson and violence at the station led to the death of a protester aspiring to join the armed forces.
Train operations from the station were canceled or partially canceled and subsequently resumed later that evening.
Due to the ongoing unrest, eight more trains, including six from different towns in West Bengal and two from towns in Bihar, were canceled today, authorities confirmed on Saturday.
Security deployed at crucial locations in Bihar
Violent anti-Agnipath protests rocked Bihar for the fourth consecutive day on Saturday, with agitators torching parked vehicles at the premises of a police outpost in Jehanabad district, officials said.
A large number of protesters gathered outside the Tehta police outpost around 8:30 a.m. and began throwing stones at security personnel. They later torched several vehicles, including a bus and a truck, they said.
Security has been tightened in some crucial areas, with internet services interrupted in Kaimur, Bhojpur, Aurangabad, Rohtas, Buxar, Nawada, West Champaran, Samastipur, Lakhisarai, Begusarai, Vaishali and the districts of Saran, in accordance with an official order.
“Eighty people have been identified so far. Others involved in the violence are being identified through video footage,” said Abhinav Dhiman, ASP, Danapur.
Incidents of vandalism at railway premises resulted in losses of over Rs 200 crore – 50 coaches and 5 engines were completely burnt out, platforms, computers and various technical parts were also damaged.
Large protest rally in Kerala
Hundreds of young people staged a massive protest march on Saturday against the Center’s decision to implement the new Agnipath program for recruiting soldiers, airmen and sailors.
Large numbers of army aspirants gathered at Thampanoor in the morning and marched to Raj Bhavan, the official residence of Governor Arif Mohammed Khan.
They could be seen brandishing slogans against the Union government’s new military recruitment scheme and waving placards and banners urging the authorities to reverse their decision at the earliest.
Meanwhile, protesters damaged public property in Ludhiana as young protesters were detained near the war memorial in Chennai.
The Delhi-Jaipur highway was also reportedly blocked after protests turned violent in Alwar district in Rajasthan.
PM will have to become ‘maafiveer’, says Rahul
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Saturday that just as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was to withdraw the farm bills, he will have to accept the youths’ demand and cancel the Agnipath defense recruitment program.
In a Hindi tweet, Rahul Gandhi said: ‘I had also said earlier that the Prime Minister will have to withdraw the black farm laws.
“In the same way, he will have to accept the request of the youth of the country by becoming ‘maafiveer’ and taking up the ‘Agnipath’ scheme”, he said.
(With agency contributions)
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