Protesting army aspirants alleged that the Centre was not hiring 'Agniveers' but "Bali Ka Bakra" (Scapegoats) for four years.
PATNA — Protests against Centre’s Agnipath scheme take violent turn in Bihar on Thursday as thousands of youths assembled at the Jahanabad railway station on Patna-Gaya rail route on Thursday and blocked the tracks as protests entered day two in Bihar.
Demanding rollback of the scheme and recruitment under normal process, the agitators also blocked Patna-Gaya road route.
Baton-wielding protesters reportedly set a coach of intercity express at Bhabua road railway station afire in Kaimur districts. They threw a burning tyre in the intercity express after passengers deboarded.
At the Jahanabad railway station, the agitating students blocked the Patna-Gaya passenger train. The railway officials, along with district police, attempted to placate them and requested them to leave the railway track to restore transportation on the route.
Besides, a large number of protesters also assembled at Kako Mor on Patna Gaya main road and burnt tyres. They raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh accusing them of “compromising” the youths’ future, reports IANS.
Many of them alleged that the Centre was not hiring ‘Agniveers’ but “Bali Ka Bakra” (Scapegoats) for four years.
The agitating students set a coach of intercity express at Bhabua road railway station afire in Kaimur districts. They threw a burning tyre in the intercity express after passengers deboarded.
In Nawada, the protesters burnt tyres on Nawada railway station and on busy Prajatantra Chowk. Due to massive protests, the traffic on the Gaya-Keul rail section was also disrupted.
The Howrah-Gaya express was also stopped at Warsaliganj railway station. Several trains on this route were also stopped at several stations.
Incidents of stone pelting were also reported from Arrah.
In Saharsa, students flocked to the railway station and pelted stones when the police tried to chase them away to prevent rail traffic disruption.
Violent mobs could also be seen in Chapra, carrying heavy wooden sticks and smashing state roadways buses in protest.
Earlier on Wednesday, a large number of youths demonstrated in Muzaffarpur and Buxar districts of the state and disrupted road and rail traffic.
Meanwhile on Thursday, protests began in some districts of Uttar Pradesh against the ‘Agnipath’ recruitment scheme of the Central government, reports IANS.
Students blocked the GT road in Bulandshahr and raised slogans demanding the withdrawal of the scheme which allow short-term recruitment in the armed forces.
The district officials had a tough time in persuading the protesters to call off the blockade. The protesters submitted a memorandum to the district magistrate.
In Gonda, the protests were led by students who carried placards and shouted slogans against the scheme.
Similarly, in Unnao too, protests were held with students and unemployed youth demanding that recruitment be done in the traditional way instead of short-term contract.
The army aspirants also blocked the Delhi-Jaipur Expressway in Gurugram’s Bilaspur area in protest against Agnipath yojna, the government’s new scheme for short-term recruitment into the armed forces.
The traffic congestion on the expressway stretched over several kilometres. The protesting defence aspirants raised slogans against the PM Modi-led BJP government and demanded roll back of the new scheme.
“The government should roll back the four-year plan. This new scheme will hamper the interest of the aspirants to join the Army to serve the nation,” a protester said.
Agnipath, the tour of duty scheme, proposes the recruitment of jawans on a contractual basis for a four-year period followed by compulsory retirement for most without gratuity and pension benefits. — With inputs from agencies