One dead in violent India protests over military hiring | Sunday Observer

One dead in violent India protests over military hiring

19 June, 2022

A person has died and 13 others have been injured in India after protests against a new army hiring plan turned violent.

He died when police and protesters clashed in Secunderabad city in the southern state of Telangana on Friday.

Police reportedly opened fire into the crowd but reports said it was not clear if the man died due to a gunshot wound.

Several states have seen huge protests against the plan to hire soldiers on a fixed four-year term.

Protesters say the government’s plan to hire temporary soldiers will reduce their chances of getting coveted permanent military jobs, which guarantee fixed salaries and pensions.

Young people in India’s smaller towns and villages prepare for years to become soldiers in the armed forces as the job brings prestige, a regular income and for some, a way out of poverty.

Many have taken to the streets in several states, including in Bihar, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, to protest against the plan.

Protesters have burnt buses and railway coaches in Bihar and Telangana. In some places, they have accused the police of using excessive force.

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The new Agnipath scheme is aimed at people aged between 17.5 and 21 years. It says that successful candidates will join the armed services for four years, after which only 25% of them will be retained. -BBC