Two days after the Centre announced the Agnipath scheme through which soldiers would be recruited into the Army on a four-year contract basis, protests erupted in Bihar and Rajasthan as defence job seekers voiced concerns over job security and pension.

Agnipath: Army aspirants stage protests over job security, pensions in Bihar, Jaipur

Defence job seekers voiced concern about their next step after the completion of the four years as only 25 per cent of the soldiers recruited through the scheme will be retained to serve a full term. The youth recruited through the Agnipath scheme and not absorbed will be relieved without pension benefits.

They said the recruitment into the Army opened after two years and even after that there is no certainty about their future. They asked what would happen to their future after four years if they were not retained, and criticised the government.

Protests continued in Bihar’s Ara railway station for the second day as agitating students continued to stage demonstrations against the Centre.

PROTEST AT RAILWAY STATION IN BUXUR

In the Buxar district, more than 100 young men stormed the railway station and squatted on the tracks, blocking the onward journey of Patna-bound Janshatabdi Express for nearly 30 minutes.

They raised slogans against the scheme, unveiled the previous day by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, until security personnel led by RPF inspector Deepak Kumar and GRP SHO Ramashish Prasad, arrived at the spot and warned them against disruption of rail traffic.

There were reports in a section of the regional media that the protesters had hurled stones at Pataliputra Express, which passed through the station, though both Kumar and Prasad denied such an occurrence.

In Muzaffarpur town, a large number of Army aspirants vented their ire by placing burning tyres on the roads around the sprawling “Chakkar Maidan” where they turn up in large numbers for physical tests which are mandatory for the recruitment of jawans.

AJMER-DELHI HIGHWAY BLOCKED IN JAIPUR

In Jaipur, around 150 people blocked the Ajmer-Delhi highway on Wednesday in protest against the Centre’s “Agnipath” scheme to recruit youngsters into the armed forces for a four-year period, police said.

According to Kardhani Station House Officer (SHO) Banwari Meena, around 150 protesters blocked the highway, demanding that recruitment into the armed forces should be done following the earlier method.

The SHO said the protesters were subsequently dispersed and the highway was cleared, adding that 10 people were arrested.

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