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Agnipath Row: Protest Reaches Telangana And Bengal

The violent protest broke out at Secunderabad Railway Station on Friday against the Central government’s ‘Agnipath’ scheme for recruitment in the armed forces. The situation became grim after students set two bogies on fire during the protest. Activists and students also pelted stones at buses.

Thousands of Army exam candidates who took part in the protest have expressed their anger and demanded the cancellation of the Agnipath scheme. They demanded that the army exam must be conducted as usual.

After the violence broke out, KTR, working president of TRS said: “The violent protests against Agniveer Scheme is an eye-opener & acute indicator of the magnitude of the unemployment crisis in the country.”

“From One Rank – One Pension to proposed No Rank – No Pension,” he said

Later, Y Sathish Reddy, social media convenor of the TRS Party in a tweet said, “Carefully listen to the pain of the youth. Heartbreaking Modi, why are you playing with the young aspirants?”

Otherside, at Thakurnagar railway station a group of youths blocked the railway tracks, thus disrupting the normal trains service in the busy Sealdah- Bangaon line under Eastern Railway for quite some time. The demand of the agitators was that the Union government should immediately withdraw the proposed Agnipath scheme and continue the normal recruitment process that ensures a jawan a minimum service period for 15 years. The rail blockade was withdrawn after about two hours following the intervention of the police.

The protesters also argued that after going through a process of rigorous training, a service period of just four years and an exit package of just around Rs 11 lakh was not enough.

Another group of agitators started marching towards the ancestral residence of the BJP Lok Sabha member from Bangaon and the Union minister of state for ports, shipping and waterways, Shantanu Thakur at Thakurnagar somewhat the same time. They were shouting slogans and holding posters demanding scrapping of the Agnipath scheme.

Meanwhile, a group of agitators at Bhatpara under Barrackpore sub-division blocked roads and agitated by burning motor-tyres on the streets. There were reported instances of the agitators seen pelting stones towards public vehicles following which the glass window-shields were smashed. While agitating they were carrying the national Tricolour.

Trinamool Congress state general secretary and the party spokesman, Kunal Ghosh said that the Union government and BJP are trying to make a joke of the rich heritage of the Indian armed forces. “Protests are bound to recur over such absurd proposals,” he said.

The CPI-M central committee member and the former leader of the Left legislative parties in West Bengal Assembly, Dr Sujan Chakrabarty said that just as West Bengal government under the leadership of the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had replaced regular police with civic volunteers, the Union government under the leadership of Prime Minister, is trying to replace regular soldiers with civic soldiers.

BJP’s national vice president and party MP, Dilip Ghosh said that it is a matter of enquiry whether the agitations are really conducted by ordinary job-seekers or by goons enjoying political patronage.

Meanwhile, Bihar deputy chief minister Renu Devi’s house in Bettiah district was attacked on Friday as protests against the new defence recruitment scheme continued, across the country.

Miscreants set fire to the Jammu Tawi Guwahati Express train in Samastipur, Bihar. This incident is of Mohiuddinnagar station of Hajipur Barauni railway section.

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