With the government denying the rollback of the Agnipath military recruitment scheme, some organisations have called for ‘Bharat Bandh’ on Monday amid the ongoing protests demanding a rollback of the plan.
Parts of Delhi witnessed traffic jams as the police have tightened security across the city and its bordering areas. Massive traffic jams were witnessed at Delhi-Noida Direct Flyway and the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway as well.
Congress leaders sat on a ‘Satyagraha’ at Jantar Mantar in the national capital to express solidarity with the armed forces aspirants protesting against the ‘Agnipath’ scheme. Delhi Minister Gopal Rai said several organisations will organise a joint movement at the protest site.
In view of these developments, Delhi Police Public Relations Officer Suman Nalwa told ANI, “All roads, shops, establishments and markets are open here. The situation is normal. We won’t tolerate anarchy here. The Police are prepared to tackle anti-social elements who could attempt to vandalise public property. We don’t expect any law and order problem to arise here.”
“We had received a few intelligence inputs that some groups from other states have been planning to stage a protest in Delhi. Taking into consideration those intelligence inputs, we have made solid security arrangements at the borders,” Suman Nalwa added.
Thousands of vehicles were stuck at Delhi-Gurugram and Delhi-Noida entry points due to security checks in the wake of the Bharat Bandh called by some groups over Agnipath military recruitment scheme. Police at the entry points of the national capital were keeping a strict vigil on all vehicles to ensure no Agnipath protester manages to enter Delhi.
On June 17, a group of Congress leaders decided to meet President Ram Nath Kovind on June 20 to apprise him of the alleged manhandling and harassment of party MPs by the Delhi Police during protests against the questioning of Rahul Gandhi by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the National Herald case.
Speaking further on this development, Suman Nalwa said, “I have seen some clips. I don’t think that it would be appropriate for me to comment on it at this moment. Let the law take its own course.”
The protests against the government’s army recruitment scheme ‘Agnipath’ continued on Monday. Various state governments tightened the security in view of the ‘Bharat Bandh’ call given by the armed forces aspirants.
Massive demonstrations erupted last week after the Union government announced the contentious Agnipath scheme to recruit youth to serve in the three services of the Armed Forces. Taking objections to some of its conditions, the army aspirants have been agitating in 11 states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand and Assam.
The row snowballed as demonstrations turned violent in some states. Protesters set trains on fire, vandalised public and police vehicles, injuring security personnel. They are demanding a rollback of the scheme — a demand denied by the Centre.
The Centre has also been defending the scheme, explaining that recruits, or ‘Agniveers’, retiring after four years will be given financial aid. Also, in a nod to protesters’ concerns, the government has relaxed the upper age limit from 21 to 23. (ANI)