Police lathi-charge Agnipath protesters in Karnataka's Dharwad: Report

Published on Jun 18, 2022 06:17 PM IST

Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai has said he had taken measures to maintain law and order in the state.

Police lathi charged against a mob of anti-Agnipath protestors in Dharwad on Saturday. (Screenshot of Twitter video) 
Police lathi charged against a mob of anti-Agnipath protestors in Dharwad on Saturday. (Screenshot of Twitter video) 
ByYamini C S | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan

Police in Karnataka's Dharwad lathi-charged people protesting against 'Agnipath' - the centre's armed forces recruitment scheme - news agency PTI reported on Saturday. Police told PTI protesters had gathered at Dharwad's Kala Bhavan to hold a protest march and served a memo to the Additional Deputy Commissioner of the district regarding the organised protests.

PTI said police had to lathi-charge protestors to make them disperse as a few damaged a nearby bus by throwing stones.

They were not allowed to march towards the ADC's office.

Police told reporters they had taken a few protestors into custody and that the others had dispersed. Normalcy has been restored in the city, authorities said.

Anti-'Agnipath' protests were also reported from other parts of Karnataka, such as Gokak and Belagavi districts. Anjali Nimbalkar, the Congress MLA from Khanapur constituency, participated in one such protest, PTI reported.

Protests against the 'Agnipath' scheme have roiled several states - notably Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh - over the past three days.

Trains and railway stations have been torched or vandalised, and property destroyed. Hundreds have been arrested and cases have been filed.

Security forces at railway stations in Karnataka are on alert.

Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai spoke on the 'Agnipath' protests and said he had taken measures to maintain law and order in the state.

The 'Agnipath' scheme was introduced Tuesday.

Under this scheme, recruits - called 'Agniveers' will serve a four-year tour of duty after which 75 per cent will be retired without benefits.

The scheme has triggered furious protests with armed forces aspirants worried about their future if they are among the 75 per cent dropped.

The government has rushed to allay such fears, assuring 'Agniveers' of jobs in central police and security forces like the CAPF and Assam Rifles, as well as in various union ministries. BJP-ruled states like UP and Uttarakhand have also made promises - of jobs in state police forces.

With inputs from PTI

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