Agnipath Protests: Vehicles Set On Fire In Bihar, 260 Arrested In UP

Agnipath protests: A vehicle set on fire during Bihar Bandh today.

New Delhi:
The new military recruitment scheme, Agnipath, has boiled into a major issue for the government with protests now spreading to eight states. A person died in police firing as mob set fire to trains and damaged properties, creating a security scare.

Here are the top 10 updates on this big story:

  1. Several vehicles were set on fire this morning in Bihar as the protesters tried to implement a bandh called against the contentious recruitment scheme.┬áProtests against ‘Agnipath’ turned violent in Bihar on Friday when rampaging mobs set fire to dozens of railway coaches, engines and stations and torched BJP offices, vehicles and other property, prompting the police to suspend internet services in nearly a third of the state.

  2. In Telangana, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao expressed shock and grief over the death of a 24-year-old man who died after security personnel opened fire at agitators at the Secunderabad railway station on Friday. Mr Rao announced Rs 25 Lakhs compensation to the victim’s family and also one government job to an eligible member of the family, his office said in a release.

  3. The incident led to a war of words between Mr Rao’s government and the opposition BJP, with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao blaming the “faulty procedures” of the Centre for the death of Rakesh.

  4. At least 250 people have been arrested in Uttar Pradesh over the protests, which has seen hundreds of angry youth, carrying bamboo sticks and stones, storming railway premises across cities and small towns and laying siege to highways.

  5. BJP-ruled Haryana has also witnessed massive protests as angry protesters threw stones at vehicles in Ballabhgarh, squatted on railway tracks in Jind and burnt tyres in Rohtak on Friday.

  6. At least 15 protesters were arrested following violence in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore on Friday. Two policemen also suffered minor injuries after nearly 600 protesters gathered on tracks near a railway station and threw stones and blocked a road, prompting the police to throw teargas shells to control the situation, officials said.

  7. As railway properties come under the attack from those protesting against the Agneepath scheme in parts of the country, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Friday appealed to everyone not to indulge in any violent protest and not to damage railways properties. “Railway is our national property and it is our responsibility to make sure that no harm or damage should be made to it. I appeal everyone to not to indulge in any violent protest and not damage the property of the Railways. Railways are the property of the country. It is our property and it is for your service only,” Mr Vaishnaw was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

  8. Assurances by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and the Army chief have failed to cut ice with the protesters, who are unhappy with the changes in the new recruitment scheme, particularly the length of service and no pension provisions for those released early.

  9. ‘Agnipath’ is a game-changing scheme that will give the armed forces a tech-savvy youthful profile, Major General Vikas Saini, GOC 51 Sub Area, was quoted saying amid protests against the recruitment scheme. “Agnipath scheme aims to bring paradigm changes in the human resource management of the Indian Army and prepare the army as a future-ready fighting force capable of meeting multiple challenges across the whole spectrum of conflicts,” Mr Saini said.

  10. The government unveiled Agnipath on Tuesday — calling it a “transformative” scheme– for the recruitment of soldiers in the Army, Navy and the Air Force. The Congress, however, claims that the scheme is “controversial, carries multiple risks, subverts the long-standing traditions”, and may turn out to be a case of “penny wise and security foolish”.

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