Other States

Protests erupt in U.P. against ‘Agnipath’ scheme, stones pelted at govt. bus in Agra

Protests against the ‘Agnipath’ scheme has erupted in Bihar as well, where protestors staged a demonstration at Chapra in Saran, on June 16, 2022.

Protests against the ‘Agnipath’ scheme has erupted in Bihar as well, where protestors staged a demonstration at Chapra in Saran, on June 16, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

The protests against the Centre's new soldier recruitment scheme spread to different parts of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday with defence service candidates pelting stones at a government bus in Agra, and staging demonstrations in Bulandshahr and Ballia.

In Ballia and neighbouring districts, movement of some trains was affected due to the protests, an official said.

The stone pelting incident was reported in rural Agra's Bah, while protests erupted in various pockets of Agra district. They also blocked NH-2, the Agra-Jaipur highway and MG Road, sources said.

However, they said, none was injured in the protests called against the Agnipath scheme to recruit jawans into the army, the navy and the air force for a four-year-period followed by compulsory retirement for most without gratuity and pension benefits.

"This scheme will affect the future of those candidates who want to serve the nation for 10 years and not just for four years," a protester requesting anonymity said.

Another student Satyaprakash demanded that the written exam for vacancies announced last year be conducted.

Agra Senior Superintendent of Police Sudhir Kumar Singh told reporters that the superintendent of police (city) and other police personnel reached the spot and the situation is under control.

The students have been asked to place their demands peacefully, he added.

In Bulandhshar, protesters gathered in Khurja locality and the city area and demanded that the central government withdraw the scheme.

Bulandshahr Superintendent of Police Shlok Kumar said, "Some youngsters gathered to stage protest in the morning. They called off the protest on the assurance of officials." In Ballia, a group of around 60 people staged a protest and raised slogans against the central government in Kotwari area under Rasra police station limits.

Deputy District Magistrate Sarvesh Kumar Yadav reached the protest venue along with the administrative and police team.

He spoke to the protesters after which they decided to end the demonstration. They handed over a memorandum to him addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that the Agnipath scheme be withdrawn, officials said.

Mr. Yadav said that the protest was peaceful.

Some passenger trains were affected due to the protest, an official said. Train 12562 Swatantrata Sainani Express chugging from Delhi to Jai Nagar on the Varanasi-Chhapra rail section was halted at Ballia Railway Station at 10.47 am, North Eastern Railways' Public Relations Officer Ashok Kumar said.

Train 14006 Lichchavi Express was halted at Bhatni railway station at 10.25 am and train 15054 Lucknow Chhapra Express at Ghazipur railway station at 11.25 am.

This was done as a precautionary measure in the wake of protests in Ballia and some districts of Bihar neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, he said.

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2022 6:17:38 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/protests-erupt-in-up-against-agnipath-scheme-stones-pelted-at-govt-bus-in-agra/article65533238.ece