Chandigarh, June 16 (Ajit Weekly News) Opposition parties in Haryana on Thursday criticised the Central government and demanded immediate withdrawal of the new short-term military recruitment scheme after protests in several districts.
While senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Kumari Selja accused the Centre of betraying the armed forces aspirants, Indian National Lok Dal leader Abhay Chautala called the new scheme a “suicidal step”.
“The Central government of the Bharatiya Janata Party has now set its eye on the country’s army. The Agnipath scheme is a big betrayal of the youth of the country. This scheme will compromise the efficiency, dexterity, ability and effectiveness of the forces,” said Selja in a statement.
Condemning police action against protestors in Palwal and Rewari, she said, “The government should immediately withdraw this scheme.”
Sachin, a young man from Jind district who had been preparing for getting into the Army for the past two years, allegedly committed suicide in Rohtak. His friends and family said that Sachin was upset over the new policy.
Referring to Sachin’s death, Selja said that “Nothing could be more painful.”
Condemning the scheme, INLD’s Chautala said: “Exactly what was feared has begun to happen. Youths are out on the roads and protesting against the Union government’s suicidal policy. Protests have erupted in Palwal, Rewari, Hisar, and several other places in the state.”
In Palwal, police fired in the air to disperse hundreds of violent protestors demonstrating against the Agnipath scheme for recruitment into the army.
Five police vehicles were torched, several buses were damaged in stone-pelting and National Highway 19 was blocked.
Protestors pelted stones at the house and office of the Deputy Commissioner. Police resorted to a lathicharge and fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.
Reports say that Deputy Commissioner Yashpal Khatana got injured. However, there was no official confirmation.
Amid the protests, the authorities suspended Internet and SMS services for 24 hours and slapped prohibitory orders under Section 144, curbing the assembly of five or more people in the town.
The situation was tense in Rewari as youths blocked the road outside a bus stand and pelted stones at the police, which in turn resorted to a lathicharge to disperse the crowd.
Congress leader and ex-serviceman Capt Ajay Yadav said that the scheme was aimed to demean the spirit of the forces and cut down on benefits being given to soldiers.
“The army is not a profession but passion and life. Our districts like Rewari send their sons to serve the nation every year and this demeans their passion. Over 4 lakh posts are vacant in the army and this is a cheap attempt to compensate them with small contract employment that is unacceptable,” he said.
–Ajit Weekly News