Youths protest against Agnipath scheme, Gurugram-Jaipur highway blocked
Hundreds of young people on Thursday took to the streets in Bilaspur and Sidhrawali areas of Gurugram and Rewari, some 50 km away, against the 'Agnipath' scheme unveiled by the Centre earlier this week to recruit soldiers largely on a short-term contractual basis.
The scheme involves recruitment of the jawans into the army, the navy and the air force for a four-year-period followed by compulsory retirement for most without gratuity and pension benefits.
The protesters laid a virtual seize on bus stands and roads, crippling traffic on the Gurugram-Jaipur highway, and held a protest at Bilaspur Chowk.
"Due to a local protest, traffic is diverted at Bilaspur Chowk (NH-48). All commuters using this route are requested to take alternative routes," Gurugram traffic police said in an advisory.
"Our traffic officials are on the job and ensuring that there is no major congestion. Diversions have been made as and where required," Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Ravinder Singh Tomar said.
Ex-soldier and senior Congress leader Captain Ajay Yadav in a statement said that the scheme is aimed to demean the spirit of forces and cut down on benefits being given to army jawans.
"Army is not profession but passion and life. Our districts like Rewari send their sons to serve the nation every year and this demeans their passion. Over four lakh posts are vacant in the army and this cheap attempt to compensate them with small contract employment is unacceptable," Yadav said.