Agnipath: Bharat Bandh fails to evoke much response in Prayagraj
No major demonstrations were witnessed in Prayagraj on Monday over the demand for the rollback of the Agnipath military recruitment scheme and the Bharat Bandh (pan-India strike) call given by some organisations on this issue.
Shops in all major markets, including Civil Lines, Chowk, Katra and Baihrana, functioned as usual and even offices remained open.
The district police backed by personnel of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and Rapid Action Force (RAF) remained alert across Prayagraj district, including at railway and bus stations, to prevent any violence.
Maximum security was witnessed at the Prayagraj railway station located close to Allahabad University and localities nearby that house students and youngsters preparing for various competitive exams in large numbers. A fire tender remained stationed outside the Prayag railway station throughout the day.
A handful of activists belonging to the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and Students’ Federation of India (SFI) briefly staged a demonstration with placards against the new army recruitment scheme near Allahabad University Students’ Union (AUSU) hall.
“This scheme is a threat to the dreams and aspirations of aspiring soldiers. We are also protesting the crackdown on our fellow activists who were protesting against the scheme in New Delhi,” said PS Maurya while leading the protest.
“No untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the district. Security personnel remained deployed at all important locations,” said Prayagraj senior superintendent of police Ajay Kumar.
In light of the “Bharat Bandh” call, police officials also visited some of the defence training/coaching academies that prepare youngsters for army recruitment and enquired about the situation.
“A deputy SP level officer visited our academy and enquired if everything was peaceful. After being reassured that nothing was amiss, he left,” said the manager of one such academy in Civil Lines.
In Naini, police personnel remained deployed in riot gear at various key intersections. The police also took out a march in a show of strength to deter any troublemakers.
Police in neighbouring Pratapgarh and Kaushambi districts also remained on high alert. Security personnel were deployed at all main crossings and near the railway and bus stations as a precautionary measure.
Inspector general of police (Prayagraj range) Rakesh Kumar Singh said no untoward incident was reported from any districts of the range.
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