12 Trains Burnt, Stations Vandalised In 'Agnipath' Protests: 10 Facts

Several parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have witnessed protests over the new military recruitment policy. The protest had spread to BJP-ruled Haryana and Madhya Pradesh too.

The coaches of the Jammu Tawi Express train were set on fire at Mohiuddinagar station.

New Delhi: At least one person has died and several others injured as angry mob set trains on fire and clashed with police in several states over the new military recruitment policy, Agnipath. The government has defended the scheme, calling it "transformative".

Here are the 10 latest developments in this story:

  1. A 19-year-old from Warangal has died and over 15 were injured in Telangana's Secunderabad as violent protests spread to the southern state. Several states like Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh have witnessed violent agitation over the new scheme.

  2. In Bihar, the house of Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi was attacked in Bettiah in West Champaran district amid protests against the new recruitment scheme that has set off a firestorm. "Such type of violence is very dangerous for the society. The protesters should remember that this is a loss for the society," Ms Devi, who is currently in Patna, told NDTV. Bihar has borne the brunt of the violence, which began on Wednesday.

  3. Internet has been suspended in 12 districts in Bihar. The government said that the misuse of social networking sites is likely to be detrimental to interests of peace in these 12 districts.

  4. In Uttar Pradesh, a mob entered a railway station in Ballia this morning and set a train coach on fire, and also damaged railway station property before the police used force to disperse them. Protests also erupted in Varanasi, Firozabad and Amethi, causing damage to government buses and other symbols of public property. A local BJP leader's car was torched in Aligarh.

  5. At least 12 trains have been set on fire and over 300 others have been affected - 214 cancelled, 11 diverted and 90 did not make it to their destinations - since the protests erupted on Wednesday, according to the Railways.

  6. Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said, "I appeal to the youth to not indulge in violent protests and not damage the property of the Railways. Railways are the property of the country."

  7. The government unveiled Agnipath on Tuesday -- calling it a "transformative" scheme-- for the recruitment of soldiers in the Army, Navy and the Air Force, largely on a four-year short-term contractual basis.

  8. Protesters are unhappy with the changes, particularly the length of service, no pension provisions for those released early, and the 17.5 to 21-year age restriction that now makes many of them ineligible.

  9. The age limit for Agnipath recruitment has now been raised to 23 from 21 as a "one-time waiver" following the protests. The government has also put out a 10-point defence of the scheme and assured recruits they will not find themselves in the lurch after completing their four years in the military.

  10. The Opposition has also stepped up its attack on the government over the new recruitment scheme, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi not take 'agnipareeksha (trial by fire)' of their patience by making them walk on Agnipath. Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, meanwhile, called the move "negligent" and potentially "fatal" for the country's future.



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