BJP UP lawmaker schools Rajnath Singh over Agnipath policy

Protests have intensified in India over a new reform scheme to hire soldiers for a fixed term for the armed forces.

Under the new policy of recruitment in the Indian Armed Forces ‘Agnipath’, men and women between the ages of 17 and 21 will be brought to non-officer positions for four years.

Earlier, soldiers were recruited separately by the Army, Navy and Air Force and generally remained in service for 17 years for the lowest rank.

The new hiring policy has caused resentment among the public. Protests have intensified in India over a new reform scheme to hire soldiers for a fixed term for the armed forces.

Protesters asked and objected that after only four years of service, where will they go.

A young man surrounded by fellow protesters in Bihar’s Jehanabad district told an Indian news agency, “After four years of service, we will be homeless and that is why we take to the roads.”

The dissent voices against this scheme have also started coming from within the ruling party BJP.

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In a letter to Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday, Varun Gandhi, a BJP lawmaker from Uttar Pradesh (UP), said that 75 percent of those recruited under the scheme were after four years of service would be unemployed.

“Every year, that unemployment rate will increase,” said Varun, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha).