Protesters in Bihar, eastern India, have damaged public property and plundered station offices in order to demand a government reversal and express anger at the new military recruitment policy.
Thousands of young people attacked long-distance buses on trains, burned tires, and clashed with staff at a train station in one of India’s poorest states on Saturday.
Sanjay Singh, a high-ranking Bihar police officer who oversees law and order, said at least 12 protesters had been arrested and at least four police officers were injured.
“Approximately 2,000 to 2,500 people entered Masauri Station and attacked the army,” Shin told Reuters.
The Agnipass or “Fire Route” system aims to draw more people into the army with a four-year contract to lower the average age of India’s 1.38 million strong army and reduce the surge in pension costs. And.
Opponents, mostly young men, say the plan limits permanent work opportunities with the Defense Forces, which guarantee fixed salaries, pensions and other benefits.
Some retired military officials said the government’s plans to save money risked the honor of serving the country and the security of India.
Reports of sporadic unrest in some parts of India have led Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to hold meetings to consider policies for hiring soldiers for shorter terms.
The plan requires that after four years of service, 25% of the hired soldiers will be retained and the rest will be prioritized over jobs such as state police.
In India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, police have arrested at least 250 people under so-called preventive arrests. Some demonstrators accused police of using excessive force. One person died in protests this week.
Reuters television partner ANI reported that Defense Minister Rajnatsin had met with three army leaders at his residence in New Delhi as the demonstrations continued.
Shin appealed to the youth to apply under the new scheme.
The Navy Commander-in-Chief on Friday said the protest was unexpected and probably the result of false information about the new system.
“I didn’t expect such a protest,” Admiral R. Hari Kumar told ANI.
“This is the only and greatest change in human resource management that has ever occurred in the Indian Army.”
Defense officials said the plan was justified as the territory of war changed and the military needed younger, more technically savvy people.
To curb public anger, the government announced on Saturday that it would secure 10% of the vacant seats in the paramilitary and Assam Rifles. The period of the year required by the scheme.
India’s military policy protests intensify
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