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Kozhikode, T'puram too witness Agnipath protests

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Thiruvananthapuram, June 18 (Ajit Weekly News) Several unemployed youths who have been waiting for a job in the army staged protest marches in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode on Saturday.

Most of the youths reached the state capital through information on WhatsApp groups and the march which started near the Thiruvananthapuram central railway station with around 500 people increased in size with several youths joining midway.

Police tried to dissuade the youths from participating in the march and was heard telling them not to get into criminal cases by marching towards the Kerala Raj Bhavan.

Amit, a 21 year old youth from Kollam district who had come to Thiruvananthapuram for the march, told Ajit Weekly News, “I qualified in the physical test and was waiting for the written test. With the Agnipath, I think it is curtains down on my dreams and want the government to roll it back. I had come from Kollam to participate in the march after being alerted on WhatsApp by fellow job aspirants.”

The youths later did pushups on the roadside near Raj Bhavan, Kerala to demonstrate their solidarity and their interest in joining the armed forces. The march at Thiruvananthapuram later culminated near Raj Bhavan where police had set up barricades.

In North Kerala also protest marches were conducted with a large number of youths participating against the central government’s scheme of Agnipath. Scores of youths participated in the protest march which was held in front of the Kozhikode railway station.

Ullas Kumar, 21, a youth who is an army aspirant and from Vadakara in Kozhikode district told Ajit Weekly News, “With Agnipath, the armed forces will turn into a stop gap arrangement for four years for a large majority and this will create a feeling of insecurity among youngsters. An armed force job has always been a dream and a passion with all the benefits. The government of India must rollback this scheme that will destroy the hope of the youth as well as the armed forces.”

However, marches in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode were non-violent just like in other places with the protesters just sloganeering against the policy and displaying their physical prowess by doing pushups.

–Ajit Weekly News

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