One dead in protests over India’s short-term military contracts

17 June 2022, 12:44

India Military Recruitment
India Military Recruitment. Picture: PA

The death occurred in Secundrabad in southern India where nearly 500 protesters vastly outnumbered police.

At least one person has been killed as youths in parts of India burned train carriages, blocked highways and attacked police with rocks, in a second day of demonstrations against a new short-term government recruitment policy for the military, police said.

The death occurred in Secundrabad in southern India, where nearly 500 protesters vastly outnumbered police as they rampaged through the railway station for more than an hour, police said.

Another 15 people were reportedly injured.

India Military Recruitment
Flames rise from a train set on fire by protesters in Patna (Sanjay Kumar Srivastava/AP)

Protesters attacked police with rocks and police used batons and fired shots to disperse them. One protester was killed in the police firing, an officer said.

Television images showed people setting empty train carriages on fire and vandalising property belonging to railway authorities. They burned tyres and blocked rail tracks, disrupting train services in the region for several hours.

Under the new job programme announced by defence minister Rajnath Singh this week, the armed forces this year can recruit 46,000 men and women in the age group 17.5 to 21 but only for four years. Seventy-five percent of them will be compulsorily retired after four years with no pension benefits.

A full-time recruited soldier serves for more than 35 years.

India Military Recruitment
Smoke rises from trains in Hyderabad (Mahesh Kumar A/AP)

The violence also hit eastern Bihar state where protesters set six train carriages on fire and damaged railway stations, including offices and electronic installations. The protesters also blocked highways for hours, said police officer SK Singhal.

Protesters threw rocks at the homes of governing Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Renu Devi and Sanay Jaiswal in Bettiah, a town in Bihar state, Mr Singhal said. No one was injured.

The large-scale protests caused the cancellation of 30 services with another 29 trains diverted to safer routes and 30 with passengers stranded at different places in Bihar state, said Virendra Kumar, a railway spokesman.

In northern Uttar Pradesh state, protesters threw rocks at buses in the city of Varanasi.

The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which is facing national elections in 2024, is under pressure to provide jobs as India’s economy recovers from the pandemic slump.

India Military Recruitment
Protesters sit on railway tracks at Secundrabad station (Mahesh Kumar A/AP)

One idea behind short-term military recruitment is that those trained by the armed forces can later seek jobs with police or the private sector.

The government’s rationale also appears to save money by avoiding the pension burden by retiring them after four years. Pension payouts have averaged just under a quarter of India’s overall defence budget for years, leaving limited funds for the military’s modernisation, said Rahul Bedi, a military analyst.

With 1.4 million active personnel, India’s military is the world’s second-largest after China, and the third-largest spender.

Army recruitment had been halted for two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and thousands of hopefuls spent the time preparing to join up.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Chicago police at the scene where a five-month-old girl was shot and killed in the South Shore neighbourhood of Chicago

Five-month-old girl shot dead in car in Chicago

Russia Ukraine War

Russia pushes to block second city in eastern Ukraine

Tourists fill plastic bottles with water from a public fountain at the Sforzesco Castle in Milan, Italy

Milan to turn off fountains as drought hits Italy

A photo of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell

Seven accusers write to Ghislaine Maxwell’s sentencing judge

Vitali Klitschko

European mayors duped into calls with impostor posing as Kyiv’s Vitali Klitschko

People lay flowers at the scene of a shooting in central Oslo, Norway

Gunman kills two during Oslo Pride festival

Activists from Oxfam wear giant heads depicting G7 leaders during a demonstration in Munich, Germany

Protesters gather as G7 leaders set to arrive in Germany

The Brit fell from the Devil's Pass in northern Spain

Brit, 25, falls to his death climbing over Spain's notorious 'Devil's Pass'

Joe Biden

Biden declares ‘lives will be saved’ as he signs landmark gun legislation

Police gather at the site of a shooting in Oslo (Javad Parsa/NTB via AP)

Suspected terror-linked shooting in Oslo kills two and wounds 10

Two people were killed in a shooting in Oslo

Man charged with terrorist acts after mass shooting outside Oslo gay bar

Protests have taken place cross the US

Protests erupt as abortion clinics close across US after Roe v Wade overthrown

Police stand guard outside a bar in central Oslo

Man arrested following shooting in central Oslo which left two dead

Anti-abortion protesters rally at the Supreme Court, Friday, June 24, 2022, in Washington

Abortion clinics begin closing after Supreme Court ruling

Biden Supreme Court Abortion

Joe Biden: Abortion rights ruling is ‘sad day for court and country’

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

Judge makes jury’s 10.3 million dollar award official in Depp-Heard trial