Demonstrators set fire to railway coaches and throw stones at police in India.
They are protesting against a new military recruitment process. Agnipath, which means “path of fire” in Hindi
will bring in men and women aged 17-21 for a four-year stint.
LUCKNOW: Demonstrators flung stones at police and set fire to railway coaches in India on Friday, police said, as protests against a new military recruiting process raged for a second day.
The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated this week that it will restructure the recruitment procedure for the 1.38 million-strong armed forces, with the goal of bringing in more people on short, four-year contracts to reduce personnel’s average age.
Many potential recruits, on the other hand, oppose, claiming that they should be permitted to serve for more than four years. Opposition parties and some members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party warn the system will increase unemployment in a country where unemployment is already high.
On Thursday, police in Haryana’s northern state fired bullets into the air to disperse stone-throwing protestors. Protesters gathered again on Friday, torching railway cars and interrupting rail services in at least two stations in the eastern state of Bihar, according to authorities. Sanjay Singh, a senior police official in Bihar, told Reuters that more than 100 people were arrested in rallies across the state on Thursday.
Hundreds of people gathered in Secunderabad, India’s southernmost city, to throw stones at police, indicating that the protests were expanding.
A.R Srinivas, a police official, alleged that they had also set fire to properties at the Secunderabad train station.
The new Agnipath recruitment method, which means “path of fire” in Hindi, will bring in men and women aged 17 and a half to 21 for a four-year stint as non-officers, with barely a quarter staying for longer.
Soldiers were historically recruited independently by the army, navy, and air force, and served for up to 17 years at the lowest ranks.
The government also announced on Friday a one-time increase to 23 years old for the maximum entrance age for the scheme, which had been frozen for the past two years because to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government has agreed to offer a one-time exemptions for the projected recruitment cycle for 2022, according to a statement from the military ministry.