Manny protesting Army aspirants injured as Police resort to lathicharge

Manny protesting Army aspirants injured as Police resort to lathicharge
An injured Army aspirant speaking to media persons at Jammu on Thursday

JAMMU: A number of protesting Army aspirants were injured here today when the Jammu and Kashmir Police resorted to lathicharge to disperse them at BC Road.
Hundreds of Army aspirants protested outside the force’s recruitment office at B C Road in Jammu on Thursday against the alleged cancellation of a scheduled written test in view of the introduction of Agnipath, the Centre’s new recruitment scheme for defence forces. Many aspirants got serious injuries when the Jammu and Kashmir Police resorted to lathicharge as the protests led to the disruption of vehicular traffic on the busy road.
The protesters first blocked the busy Tawi Bridge and raised slogans against the government, disrupting vehicular traffic for nearly an hour in the morning. Later, they marched towards the recruitment office at the B C Road and held a demonstration outside its main entrance.
According to the protesters, they had applied for recruitment as soldiers way back in 2019 and even undergone physical and medical fitness tests. They were waiting for the written test, scheduled to be held on Thursday, which, they said, had already got cancelled from time to time during the past one-and-a-half years on account of various reasons, including Covid-19. They said that the authorities now cancelled the written exam citing the newly introduced Agnipath scheme.
“Preparing for the written test during the past one-and-a-half years, a number of us were on the verge of crossing the upper age for recruitment,’’ one of the protesters said.
“If the government had planned not to complete the recruitment process by holding the written exam, it should have informed us earlier,” another said, asking why it kept them waiting for this long.
We respect the JKP for its supreme services and sacrifices but its officials should not forget “We are Dogras whose ancestors had laid their lives for the nation and we are also here to tell the Government that do not stop us to serve the nation”, one of the aspirants from Kathua said. We condemned the JKP lathi charge on nationalist youth, he added.
Many veterans have also questioned the ‘Agnipath’ recruitment decision of the Government. Maj Gen GS Jamwal said that Agnipath scheme should be introduced in phased manner.
“In Armed forces we even introduce new weapon with proper experiment in phased manner rather replacing all in a single go,” Jamwal added.