Several states have tightened security and have taken precautionary measures against a proposed Bharat Bandh on Monday amid the ongoing protests over the Centre’s Agnipath scheme that aims to recruit people in the Indian armed forces on a short-term basis. While it is not clear which organization called for the Bharat Bandh on Monday, hundreds of social media users have supported the bandh.
The call for Bharat Bandh comes amid rising violent protests in several parts of the country for the last few days after the central government announced the Agnipath scheme. The youth are not in favor of the terms of the scheme, which include four years of service and withdrawal of pension system. The scheme was approved by the Union Cabinet on June 14.
How states are preparing for the proposed Bharat Bandh?
The Noida police said that there had been calls for a shutdown in the city and a march towards the national capital Delhi. Section 144 has been imposed in Noida in the wake of Bharat Bandh.
Security has been bolstered across the state, especially around the railway stations. Meanwhile all private and government schools have been directed to stay shut on Monday.
The Kerala police have canceled all leaves on Monday and directed the entire force to be on duty in the wake of the strike. Police had said they will arrest demonstrators who would engage in violence in the state.
In Haryana’s Faridabad that borders the national capital, police have tightened security and roadblocks have been set up at various places.
Punjab will too remain on high alert on Monday over the proposed Bharat Bandh.
Also Read | Military says Agnipath scheme here to stay; recruitment begins in August
Over the last few days, amid the ongoing agitation against the Agnipath scheme, protesters have vandalized several trains, other vehicles, and attacked MLA’s offices in Bihar. The government, owing to the protests, has raised the upper age limit to 23 years from 21. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday held meetings with Indian service chiefs amid the protests.
In addition to age relaxation, the government has announced a 10 per cent quota for ‘Agniveers’ in MoD jobs, including the Coast Guard, defense civilian posts, and all 16 defense public sector undertakings. The Center has also announced a 10 per cent quota for retired Agniveers in the the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), which include the Central Reserve Police Force, the Border Security Force, the Central Industrial Security Force, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the Seema Suraksha Bal and the Assam Rifles.