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Indians protest against new military recruitment plan

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Indians protest against new military recruitment plan

New Delhi, Jun 17 (Prensa Latina) Demonstrations in India against the new Agnipath defense recruitment plan continue for the third consecutive day with the burning of trains and clashes between the youth and the police in several states.
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Violent protests broke out on Thursday in the Indian states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is seeking to counter perceptions that the short-term conscription of soldiers into the defense services under the Agnipath scheme will have an adverse impact on enrollments and lead to unemployment, as part of its attempts to prevent the escalation of the protests.

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday that recruitment into the armed forces through the Agnipath scheme will start soon and advised young people to start preparing.

Under the plan, some 45,000 under the rank of officer, called Agniveers, will be recruited within 90 days for a duration of four years.

Upon completion of service, only 25 percent will be absorbed for another 15 years based on merit and performance, while the remainder will receive a tax-free severance package and certificate of fitness.

Retired military officers are astonished, warning that Agnipath will weaken the military establishment and endanger society at large when Agniveers are loosed on the streets, without jobs or pensions.

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