GoI’s Agnipath scheme: Protests continue in Bihar, traffic disrupted

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Bihar protestors sit on railway track as they protest against GoI's Agnipath scheme.

Bihar : Protests against the Government of India’s ‘Agnipath’ scheme for hiring forces personnel on a short-term contractual basis continued across Bihar for the second consecutive day on Thursday as aspirants preparing for jobs in Indian defence forces disrupted railway and road traffic in Jehanabad, Buxar and Nawada districts.

Protestors blocked the movement of trains on Patna-Gaya and Patna-Buxar routes by lying down on the railway tracks in Jehanabad and Buxar districts. However, Bihar Police along with their railway counterparts immediately removed the protestors from the tracks, IANS reported.

Hundreds of agitators blocked National Highway 83 in Jehanabad and burned tyres demanding the scrapping of the scheme. Angry protestors took out processions in the three districts and other parts of the state.

Protestors had disrupted railway and road traffic in various parts of the state also on Wednesday.

Under the ‘Agnipath’ scheme, around 45,000 people aged between 17.5 and 21 years will be inducted into the armed forces for a four-year period, following which most of them will have to take compulsory retirement sans pension or gratuity benefits although some will be retained.

Of the total annual recruits, only 25 per cent will be allowed to continue for another 15 years under permanent commission.

The GoI cabinet has approved the “transformative” scheme on Tuesday.

Under the old system, youths aged between 16.5 and 21 years were selected for a minimum of 15 years of service and used to get pension after retirement.

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