Kolkata Feeling the Heat of the Agneepath Scheme Protests

Agneepath Recruitment Scheme in Kolkata

The new recruitment process launched by the central government – Agneepath Scheme – has created a buzz in the country, especially among the youth.

The Agneepath Scheme was announced by the Indian Government on June 14th 2022, to recruit soldiers for four years in the Indian Armed Forces. The Agniveers (candidates enrolled in the scheme) will undergo training by the armed forces in the required skills.

All About Agneepath Scheme

The Agneepath Scheme is a recruitment process aiming to modernize the enrolment of the Armed Forces in India. The scheme is to recruit young men between the ages of 17 and 21 for posts below the rank of commissioned officers in three armed services – Army, Navy, and Air Force on a four-year contract basis. At the end of their four-year tenure, 25% of the recruits will be absorbed into the armed forces for 15+ years. 

The Agniveers will walk into society as a motivated, disciplined and skilled workforce that can further look for employment in various fields and industries. Agneepath Scheme aims to recruit 46,000 and more Agniveers to the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and India Air Force. 

The government’s broad objectives of the Agneepath Scheme are to imbibe the ethos, commitment, courage, and teamwork of the Armed Forces among the youth. 

But the Agneepath Scheme has sparked protests in several states across India, which came instantly after the announcement.

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Agneepath Scheme Protests in Kolkata

The Agneepath Scheme has not taken a pleasant liking among the citizens of India, causing protests in different states across the country, leading to Bharat Bandh. On June 17th, the Agneepath Scheme protests uprooted Kolkata leading to disruptions in many parts of the city. The Kolkata youth in several districts took the streets out with rallies and blocked the railways to protest the scheme. They demanded immediate withdrawal of the scheme and instead asked for permanent employment rather than being on a contract for four years.

The East Central Railways in Kolkata had to cancel multiple trains due to the agitation at several train stations, leaving several people stranded.

After the railway blockades in the city, the youth took out rallies, causing traffic disruptions on the Howrah bridge, which connects the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata. Many trains were cancelled and short-terminated at the Howrah Station, leaving hundreds stranded. Students from all over who had travelled to Kolkata to take an examination were left with no choice but trapped at the station.

Preventive Measures against the Protest

To ensure that law and order are not disturbed anywhere in Kolkata, the West Bengal government has asked district administrations to take precautionary measures. 

The Police department of West Bengal has assured that all the districts have taken preventive steps to control the protests. Besides protests in West and North Bengal, the state saw disruptions on the Sealdah-Bangaon route in the North 24 Parganas district.

Various locations in the Howrah district of West Bengal have been undergoing increased security measures during the Bharat Bandh.

All over the state, police forces have been deployed to handle any interruptions. There is constant banter among political parties regarding Agneepath. However, 491 train services have been affected across the country in all this chaos.

Zilpha Rodrigues Baker by day and writer by night, Zilpha enjoys tackling the unknown and simplifying the complex. A voracious reader with keen attention to detail, she hopes to fulfil her dream of publishing a cookbook and meeting her idol, Shah Rukh Khan. With a heart of gold and the right amount of spice, she is a force to be reckoned with. Also, she makes bomb cheesecakes.
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