Kerala

Agnipath scheme triggers protests in Kerala

Youths take part in a mass rally in Kozhikode on June 18, 2022, seeking the speedy intervention of the Union Government to conduct the pending CEE Exam for army recruitments, instead of giving priority to the Agnipath scheme.

Youths take part in a mass rally in Kozhikode on June 18, 2022, seeking the speedy intervention of the Union Government to conduct the pending CEE Exam for army recruitments, instead of giving priority to the Agnipath scheme. | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

The Ministry of Defence's new military recruitment scheme, Agnipath, has triggered street protests in Kerala.

In Thiruvananthapuram, scores of aspirant soldiers marched to the Raj Bhavan, demanding the Centre ditch the scheme.

The protestors marched under the banner of “Justice for Army Students”. The job seekers demanded that the Centre immediately conduct the “pending 2021 Commission Entrance Examination”. The protestors did not display any sign of overt political association.

Where anti-Agnipath protests have occurred as of June 18, 2022.

Where anti-Agnipath protests have occurred as of June 18, 2022.

Also read: Anger rages against Agnipath in many States

Similar scenes unfolded in Kozhikode. Scores of army job seekers marched to the local railway station. The police had deployed in strength in both cities, fearing street violence as witnessed in the North Indian States.

A protestor in Thiruvananthapuram told a television channel that the Centre had postponed CEE recruitment several times. However, it had conducted National Defence Academy and SSB examinations on schedule.

He said the “the protracted interval in the recruitment process” had driven thousands of youth to despair. Many had trained hard for the job. They had enrolled on pricey training courses conducted by private institutions.

The protestors did military push-ups on the road to express their anger. Some said the Agnipath scheme would seriously erode the Army’s current recruitment process.

Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) had slammed the new army recruitment framework. Both parties claimed Agnipath would corrupt the Army’s standing as a cohesive fighting force.


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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 10:53:35 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/agnipath-scheme-triggers-protests-in-kerala/article65539367.ece