Tamil Nadu

CPI(M) cadres lay siege to Madurai railway station over Agnipath scheme

Communist Party of India (Marxist) cadres breaking the police cordon in front of Madurai railway junction on Thursday.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) cadres breaking the police cordon in front of Madurai railway junction on Thursday. | Photo Credit: S. Sundar

Communist Party of India (Marxist) cadres on Thursday laid siege to Madurai railway station opposing the Agnipath scheme.

The protesters, led by Madurai MP, Su. Venkatesan, who took out a procession from Kattabomman statue up to the entrance of the railway station pushed the barricades despite the police resistance.

A few of them managed to sneak into the railway platform with party flags though another team of police and Railway Protection Force personnel were trying to block them at the portico.

Commissioner of Police T. Senthil Kumar also blocked a couple of protesters who were trying to get into the railway track and pushed them back.

After squatting in the portico and raising slogans against the Centre, the cadres came out to the West Veli Street where they continued with their slogans and courted arrest.

The protesters were opposed to the Centre's Agnipath scheme which would recruit youth into the defence forces on a contract of four years.

"This would ruin the armed forces and also the future of the youth," said Mr. Venkatesan.

Stating that the Centre had privatised the 41 ordnance factories in the country which were supplying ammunition to the armed forces, he said it had created a situation wherein ammunition could be procured from private entities.

"Under the Agnipath scheme, the Centre is not extending any job security to the youth who are ready to make the supreme sacrifice for the cause of the nation," he said, adding that it would compromise the security of the country.

Youth in northern States had taken to streets protesting against the scheme, he added.

He also condemned the Centre for its plan to introduce the second Bharath Gaurav private pilgrimage train to run from Madurai to Banaras on July 23. It was only a prelude to privatising the biggest public sector unit, he said.

Party district secretaries, M. Ganesan and K. Rajendran and its leader, S.K. Ponnuthai were among those who took part in the protest.

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2022 2:55:31 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/cpim-cadres-lay-siege-to-madurai-railway-station-over-agnipath-scheme/article65556652.ece