West Bengal: Huge Protests Against Agnipath Scheme Across the State
Kolkata: Aveek Dasgupta, 22, joined the Agnipath protests in West Bengal because he aspires to get recruited into the Indian army. A graduate of Calcutta University, Dasgupta explains how the Agnipath scheme is a farce to him.
"I want to serve the Indian army as a regular soldier and not an irregular contract soldier," Dasgupta told NewsClick, whose father is an ex-Navy man.
West Bengal saw huge protests and demonstrations against the scheme on Friday through meetings, rallies, deputation programmes, etc. Various mass organisations such as the Students Federation of India (SFI), Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) were involved in these protests.
In Burdwan and North 24 Paraganas districts, district Left-front units organised marches, demanding the scrapping of the scheme.
A massive rally was held in Burdwan town, which was resplendent by red flags and banners decrying the scheme.
CPIM state secretary MD Salim, AIKSSC convenor Amal Halder and Burdwan district CPIM secretary Saiyad Hossain led the rally, which started from the Netaji Subhash Statue and continued till Burdwan station.
Speaking with the reporters, Salim decried the way the recruitment opportunities in the army are being curtailed for the youth with nefarious schemes like Agnipath.
"Agnipath will be detrimental to the country's youth," he said.
In the Murshidabad district, SFI and DYFI workers organised programmes and burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
AIKS also organised protest rallies in various blocks of the state against the Agnipath scheme and gave a deputation to the President through the BDO office.
In Kolkata, angry students and youths took out a protest rally from Shyambazaar passing to college street in central Kolkata, attended by thousands.
The protesters said that the Central government is compromising national security for immediate political gains, adding that giving four years of unstable employment to soldiers who fight without the surety of their lives to protect the country is a farce.
AIKS' Hooghly district unit also organised protests in Chanditola 1 & 2, Jangipara Singur, Tarakeshwar, Arambag, Polva, Dadpur, and other places.
In South 24 Parganas, protests were organised in Sonarpur, Jainagar, Baruipur, Kultali Magrhat, Sagar and Patharpratima blocks. In the Bankura distrct.
Similar protests were also seen in Bankura, Howrah, Burdwan West, South Dinajpur and Jalpaiguri districts of the state.
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