Agnipath protests: 'Youth have misunderstood', says Bihar deputy CM
"Don't think our youth understood the scheme properly or are confused because of which problems are arising. Gradually, this confusion will go away," Bihar deputy chief minister
Bihar deputy chief minister Tarkishore Prasad on Thursday urged those in the state protesting against the centre's 'Agnipath' scheme to stand down, and pointed out that young men agitating against the new armed forces recruitment scheme had not understood the initiative. "Don't think our youth understood the scheme properly or are confused because of which problems are arising. Gradually, this confusion will go away," Prasad was quoted by news agency ANI.
He said both the Bihar government and the centre were serious about the induction of youth into the scheme and called on protesters to 'try to understand the positive aspects of the scheme'.
In Bihar, protests against the 'Agnipath' scheme have been going on since Wednesday. On Thursday they turned violent in several places and protesters demanded the scheme be withdrawn.
In Jehanabad district, protesters disrupted rail and road traffic.
In Chhapra protesters set a train on fire, burned tyres and vandalised a bus, and also ransacked the home of loal BJP MLA CM Gupta.
In Nawada a vehicle belonging to another BJP MLA - Aruna Devi - was attacked and protesters also torched the party's office in the city.
Violence was also reported from Gaya, Siwan, Buxer and Munger regions of the state.
"We demand that the recruitment be done as it used to be done earlier. Tour of Duty (ToD) be rolled back and exams be held as earlier. Nobody will go to Army just for four years," a protester in Munger told ANI.
"Where will we go after working for only four years?... We will be homeless after four years of service. So we have jammed the roads; the country's leaders will now get to know that people are aware," a protester from Jehanabad said.
Protests have also been reported in several other states - Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh. Apart from protesters, opposition parties and some retired members of the armed forces have also criticised the Agnipath scheme.