Bengaluru: Protests against ‘Agnipath’, the Centre’s ambitious scheme for short-term recruitment into the armed forces, erupted in several parts of Belagavi and Dharwad districts in Karnataka on Saturday, forcing the police to resort to lathi charge to disperse the mob at Dharwad city.
The cops have so far taken 30 protesters into custody.
Hundreds of youth had gathered near the Naika Adda circle in Dharwad to stage a protest aginst the Agnipath scheme, forcing the Additional DC to rush to the spot and urge the agitators to drop their plan.
However, when the youth refused to oblige, the police intervened and a verbal altercation broke out between the protesters and the cops. The police then reorted to lathi charge and took 30 prtesters into custody.
Meanwhile, hundreds of youth staged a protest in Gokak city in Belagavi district demanding reinstatement of the old recruitment scheme, raising slogans against the Central government.
They claimed the Agnipath scheme is detrimental for the youth and will push them on the verge of suicide. The Central government is playing with the career and future of the youth, they said.
A large group of youth staged a protest at Khanapur in Belagavi district under the leadership of Congress MLA Anjali Nimbalkar. The youth congregated at the Malaprabha Taluk Maidan and took out a protest march to the Tehsildar’s office, where they submitted a memorandum in the name of the President of India demanding roll back of the scheme.
Protests were also held in Nippani town of Belagavi district.
The Union Cabinet had on Tuesday approved the ‘Agnipath’ recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the armed forces. The ‘Agnipath’ model will foresee the recruitment of personnel below officer rank (PBOR) in army, air force and navy for four years, including six months of training. At the end of four years, 25 per cent of the soldiers recruited under this scheme will be inducted into the armed forces as ‘Agniveers’.