Pan India Agnipath Protests: 10 Major Developments

17 June, 2022 | Riya Girdhar

Protests have erupted in several parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in response to the new military recruitment policy. The protest had spread to the BJP-ruled states of Haryana and Madhya Pradesh as...

At least one person was killed and several others were injured after an angry mob set fire to trains and clashed with police in several states over a new military recruitment policy, according to Agnipath. The scheme has been defended by the government as “transformative.”

The following are the ten most recent developments in this story:

  1. As violent protests spread to the southern state of Telangana, one person was killed and over 15 were injured in Secunderabad. Several states, including Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh, have seen violent protests in response to the new scheme.
  2. In Bihar, Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi’s house was attacked in Bettiah, West Champaran district, amid protests against a new recruitment scheme that has sparked outrage. “Such violence is extremely dangerous to society. Protesters should keep in mind that this is a loss for society “According to sources, Ms Devi is currently in Patna. The violence, which began on Wednesday, has primarily affected Bihar.
  1. In Uttar Pradesh, a mob reached a railway station in Ballia this morning and set a train coach on fire, as well as damaging railway station property, before being dispersed by police using force. Protests erupted in Varanasi, Firozabad, and Amethi as well, causing damage to government buses and other public property. In Aligarh, a local BJP leader’s car was set on fire.
  2. According to the Railways, at least 12 trains have been set on fire and over 150 others have been affected, with 110 cancelled and 47 not arriving at their destinations since the protests began on Wednesday.
  3. According to Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, “I urge the youth not to engage in violent protests or cause damage to the Railways’ property. Railways are owned by the government.”
  1. On Tuesday, the government unveiled Agnipath, a “transformative” scheme for recruiting soldiers in the Army, Navy, and Air Force, primarily on a four-year short-term contractual basis.
  2. Protesters are dissatisfied with the changes, particularly the length of service, the lack of pension provisions for those released early, and the 17.5 to 21-year age restriction, which now disqualifies many of them.
  3. As a result of the protests, the age limit for Agnipath recruitment has been raised to 23 from 21 as a “one-time waiver.” The government has also issued a 10-point defence of the scheme, assuring recruits that they will not be left in the cold after completing their four years in the military.

9. The opposition has also increased its criticism of the government over the new recruitment scheme, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to put their patience to the test by making them walk on Agnipath. Meanwhile, Akhilesh Yadav, the president of the Samajwadi Party, called the move “negligent” and potentially “fatal” for the country’s future.

10. Top Union Ministers have assured young people that the new policy will benefit them greatly. In a tweet today, Home Minister Amit Shah stated that the Army’s recruitment process has been hampered for the past two years due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a sensitive decision out of concern for the country’s youth.