National News / Rajnath Singh to hold meeting with senior army officers amid violence at Agneepath

Zoom News : Jun 18, 2022, 08:06 AM
Delhi: Defense Minister Rajnath Singh will hold a meeting with senior army officers on Saturday amid protests across the country regarding the Agneepath scheme. The meeting is expected to take place at 11.30 am on Saturday. Top officers of the army can be present in the meeting. Army Chief General Manoj Pandey will not be present in this review meeting, as he is going to Dundigal, Hyderabad to participate in the passing out parade of the Air Force tomorrow

According to media reports, the Chief of the Air Staff, the Chief of the Navy and the officers of the DMA will be present in this review meeting of the Defense Minister. The meeting has been called regarding the uproar in the country regarding the Agneepath scheme. The Army, Navy and Air Force on Friday announced the commencement of the selection process under this new 'format' by next week as protests against the Agneepath Military Recruitment Scheme gain momentum. At the same time, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh appealed to the youth aspiring to join the armed forces to start their preparation.

Air Force Chief VR Choudhary told PTI that the selection process by the Air Force under the Agneepath scheme would begin from June 24, while the Army said it would formally start the process within two days by issuing a preliminary notification for the recruitment. The Navy, however, said it would start the recruitment process "very soon". A senior naval commander said the notification for the recruitment would be issued within a week.

Senior army officials said the three armed forces are planning to deploy the first batch of recruits in both operational and non-combatant roles under the new scheme by June next year. Officials also said that the protesting youth are not fully aware of the benefits of Agneepath scheme.

In an attempt to pacify the protesters, the government on Thursday night raised the upper age limit for recruiting soldiers under the scheme from 21 to 23 years for 2022. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, who is on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, said that this new scheme will help the youth of India to protect the country. This is a golden opportunity to join the system and serve the country.

Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pandey said that the decision to increase the age limit from 21 years to 23 years for 2022 under the 'Agneepath' scheme will provide an opportunity to those youths who are preparing to join the army, but have Could not do this for two years due to the Kovid-19 epidemic. General Pandey said that the recruitment process will be announced soon after the government's decision to give one-time relaxation in age for recruitment in the army.

One person was killed in police firing in Telangana's Secunderabad on Friday as part of protests against the 'Agneepath' scheme for army recruitment in different parts of the country for the third consecutive day on Friday. Several trains were torched, private, public vehicles, railway stations were vandalized and highways and railway lines were blocked during protests by angry youth.

The youth, who lost his life on Friday, has been identified as 24-year-old Rakesh, a resident of Dabirpet village in Warangal district. This is the first case of death after the violent protests that started on Wednesday. In the wake of protests in neighboring Bihar and parts of West Bengal against the Agneepath scheme, the state government on Friday asked all district administrations to take precautionary measures so that the law and order situation does not deteriorate anywhere.