Bharat Bandh over Agnipath: Security beefed up in Vijayawada

Vijayawada: As protests against the Agnipath protests intensify, with several organisations temporarily shutting down operations in view of ‘Bharat Bandh’, security forces have been deployed at Vijayawada Junction railway station on Monday.

Barbed wires have been put up and additional police forces have been deployed in all prime locations of the city.

BT Valleswara, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner of Vijaywada confirmed the developments over the matter and said to ANI, “We have also taken precautions at major railway stations throughout Vijaywada division. We are also deploying staff where the empty rakes/trains are placed at railway stations. We are taking regular information from the Intelligence team.”

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With the government standing its ground on the ‘Agnipath’ military recruitment scheme, some organisations have called for ‘Bharat Bandh’ on Monday amid the ongoing protests demanding a rollback of the plan.

Parts of Delhi witnessed traffic jams as the police have tightened security across the city and its bordering areas. Massive traffic jams were witnessed at Delhi-Noida Direct Flyway and the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway as well. The police have warned of strict action against any person trying to disturb the law and order situation.

Congress leaders have sat on a ‘Satyagraha’ at Jantar Mantar in the national capital to express solidarity with the armed forces aspirants protesting against the ‘Agnipath’ scheme. Delhi Minister Gopal Rai said several organisations will organise a joint movement at the protest site.

In Haryana, a group of armed forces aspirants blocked the Lal Batti Chowk in Fatehabad, while several others staged a protest on roads in Rohtak district. Security has been stepped up at several locations in Kerala, Telangana, West Bengal and Rajasthan also to avoid any untoward incident. In Faridabad and Noida, prohibitory orders have been imposed that prohibit the assembly of four or more persons.

Uttar Pradesh Police said strict action will be taken against those found involved in jeopardising peace. In Punjab, the police have been asked to monitor the activities of social media groups which are allegedly mobilising or spreading instigating information about the scheme.

The Bihar government has increased security at party offices considered vulnerable. As of now, internet services remain shut in 20 districts. In Jharkhand, all schools will remain closed today amid protests against the ‘Agnipath’ scheme.

The top military leadership of the country on Sunday stressed that the main motive behind implementing the Agnipath scheme was to bring in more youth into the forces. Lieutenant General Anil Puri, Additional Secretary, Department of Military Affairs speaking on the Agnipath scheme, while addressing a press conference, said, “This reform was long pending.”

Lt General Puri said, “The announcements regarding the reservations for ‘Agniveers announced by the different ministries and departments were pre-planned and not in reaction to the arson that happened after the Agnipath scheme announcement.”

He said Agniveers will get compensation for one crore rupees if he sacrifices his life in service of the nation. Lt General Puri said, “The ‘Agniveers would get the same allowance in areas like Siachen and other areas which are applicable to the regular soldiers serving at present.”

He said, “In next 4-5 years, intake of soldiers will be 50,000-60,000 and will increase to 90,000 – 1 lakh subsequently.” He said the process to recruit 46,000 Agniveers started to analyse the scheme and build up infrastructure capacity.

Air Marshal Suraj Jha, Air Officer Personnel said IAF will begin Recruitment under Agniveers under Agnipath Scheme from June 24 onwards. Air Marshal Jha said the first batch would be enrolled by December and training would commence by December 30. (ANI)

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