News ID: 322330
Published: 0225 GMT June 17, 2022

One dead in India unrest over military hiring, some gatherings banned

One dead in India unrest over military hiring, some gatherings banned

Policemen carry an injured protestor during a protest against "Agnipath scheme" for recruiting personnel for armed forces, in Secunderabad in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, India, on June 17, 2022.

Authorities imposed restrictions on Friday on gatherings in a satellite city of India's capital that is home to offices of several multinational firms, and one person was killed as protests against a new military recruitment process spread.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government unveiled the new recruitment system this week, called Agnipath or "path of fire" in Hindi, triggering turmoil with police firing into the air to break up stone-throwing crowds and the torching of railway infrastructure, Reuters reported.

The system aims to bring in more people to the military on short, four-year contracts to lower the average age of India's 1.38-million-strong armed forces and cut down on burgeoning pension costs.

But many potential recruits object, concerned about employment opportunities after serving their four-year terms and disappointed to miss out on a pension, and thousands of young men took to the streets on Friday, with protests turning violent in at least three states.

One protester was killed in a clash with police in the southern city of Secunderabad, a government official said.

The administration of Gurugram district, south of New Delhi, said no more than four people could gather at one place in an effort to forestall demonstrations.

The new recruitment system has drawn criticism from opposition parties, and even from some members of Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, who say it will lead to more unemployment in a country grappling with joblessness.

The government has said the armed forces aim to recruit about 46,000 people under the new system this year, and will keep only 25% of them on at the end of their four-year terms.






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