‘Agnipath’ violence intensifies in UP, Bihar as more trains set afire; DyCM’s house attacked; hostility spreads to MP, Haryana

News Network
June 17, 2022

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New Delhi, June 17: Mob set trains on fire in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar this morning as the protests over the new military recruitment policy, Agnipath, entered the third consecutive day today. The government has defended the scheme, calling it "transformative".

The house of Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi was attacked in Bettiah in Bihar's West Champaran district amid protests against the new recruitment scheme that has set off a firestorm. Ms Devi is currently in Patna.

Trains were set afire, public and police vehicles attacked in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar for the third consecutive day today amid protests against the new recruitment scheme that has set off a firestorm.

In Uttar Pradesh, a mob entered a railway station in Ballia this morning and set a train coach on fire, and also damaged railway station property before the police used force to disperse them. 

Another group of protesters carrying sticks argued with the police on the streets outside the railway station in the eastern UP district. Videos of the protest show young men with lathis breaking shops and benches at the railway station. "The police managed to stop the mob from large-scale damage. We will act against the men," Ballia District Magistrate Saumya Agarwal told reporters.

Two coaches of the Jammu Tawi Express train were set on fire at Mohiuddinagar station in Bihar, officials told NDTV, adding no one was hurt in the incident.

Several parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have witnessed protests over the new military recruitment policy. The protest had spread to BJP-ruled Haryana and Madhya Pradesh too. Phone internet and SMS have been snapped for 24 hours in Haryana's Palwal district following stone-throwing and violence by protesters.

Bihar bore the brunt of the violence with trains set ablaze, window panes of buses smashed and passersby, including a ruling BJP MLA, attacked with stones on Thursday, the second day of the protest against the scheme which proposes a short four-year term for soldiers in the three armed forces entailing no gratuity or pension upon retirement. The new plan aims to cut down the government's massive salary and pension bills and free up funds to buy arms.

The government unveiled Agnipath on Tuesday -- calling it a "transformative" scheme-- for the recruitment of soldiers in the Army, Navy and the Air Force, largely on a four-year short-term contractual basis.

Protesters are unhappy with the changes, particularly the length of service, no pension provisions for those released early, and the 17.5 to 21-year age restriction that now makes many of them ineligible.

The Opposition has also stepped up its attack on the government over the new recruitment scheme with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi not take 'agnipareeksha (trial by fire)' of their patience by making them walk on Agnipath. Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, meanwhile, called the move "negligent" and potentially "fatal" for the country's future.

The age limit for Agnipath recruitment has now been raised to 23 from 21 as a "one-time waiver" following the protests. The government has also put out a 10-point defence of the scheme and assured recruits they will not find themselves in the lurch after completing their four years in the military.

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News Network
August 14,2022

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A nine-year-old Dalit boy, a student of a private school in Rajasthan's Surana village died on Saturday, August 13, days after he was brutally beaten by his school teacher for touching a drinking water pot.

40-year-old teacher Chail Singh, an upper caste Hindu, who allegedly beat the boy has been arrested and charged with murder and under sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Police said the reason for beating up the Class 3 student Indra Meghwal that he touched a drinking water pot is being investigated.

The incident took place on July 20, the victim's father said. The boy suffered a serious injury to his face and became unconscious after receiving the beating. The boy was taken to the district hospital from where he was referred to a hospital in Udaipur. But even after a week, there was no improvement. The family decided to take him to Ahmedabad where he succumbed to the injuries. The photo of the boy with swollen eyes and an injured nose has surfaced on social media.

"He remained admitted at the hospital in Udaipur for about a week, but seeing no improvement, we took him to Ahmedabad. But his condition did not improve even there and he finally succumbed on Saturday," the boy's father Devaram Meghwal said.

The state education department has initiated an inquiry into the incident. Two officials have been asked to submit a report to the block education officer.

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot said the incident is tragic and the state government will ensure that the victim's family gets justice at the earliest. The CM has also announced an assistance of ₹5 lakh to the family of the deceased.

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News Network
July 31,2022

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Mumbai, July 31: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials on Sunday conducted search and questioning at Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut's house in Mumbai after he skipped summons twice for questioning in a money-laundering case. The Shiv Sena leader was summoned by the probe agency on July 27 after he skipped an earlier summon citing the ongoing Parliament session in Delhi.

At 7 am, the probe agency team, accompanied by CISF officials, reached Mr Raut's home in Bandup in eastern suburbs of Mumbai and began the searches.

The Enforcement Directorate wants to question Mr Raut, 60, in connection with the re-development of a chawl in Mumbai and related transactions involving his wife and close associates. Mr Raut, who is in the Uddhav Thackeray camp, has denied any wrongdoing and alleged that he is being targeted due to political vendetta.

"...False action, false evidence...I will not leave Shiv Sena...Even if I die, I will not surrender...I have nothing to do with any scam. I am saying this by taking the oath of Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray. Balasaheb taught us to fight. I will continue to fight for Shiv Sena," Mr Raut tweeted shortly after probe agency officials' visit to his home.

Meanwhile, the BJP has welcomed the ED raids at Raut's house. "I am very happy that the ED has intensified its investigation," BJP leader Kirit Somaiya said. BJP leader and MLA Nitesh Rane said that the money of poor Marathi people has been swindled and the ED action was appropriate.

While the ED investigations were under way at his home, Raut's brother and two-time Vikhroli MLA Sunil Raut too was present. 

The Rajya Sabha MP was questioned for about 10 hours on July 1, during which his statement was recorded under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

In April, the Enforcement Directorate attached assets worth over ₹ 11.15 crore of Mr Raut's wife Varsha Raut and two of his associates as part of its probe.

The properties include a flat in Dadar held by Varsha Raut and eight plots at the Kihim beach in Alibaug jointly held by Varsha Raut and Swapna Patkar, the wife of Sujit Patkar, a "close associate" of Sanjay Raut.

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News Network
August 14,2022

hinduvidctim.jpg

A nine-year-old Dalit boy, a student of a private school in Rajasthan's Surana village died on Saturday, August 13, days after he was brutally beaten by his school teacher for touching a drinking water pot.

40-year-old teacher Chail Singh, an upper caste Hindu, who allegedly beat the boy has been arrested and charged with murder and under sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Police said the reason for beating up the Class 3 student Indra Meghwal that he touched a drinking water pot is being investigated.

The incident took place on July 20, the victim's father said. The boy suffered a serious injury to his face and became unconscious after receiving the beating. The boy was taken to the district hospital from where he was referred to a hospital in Udaipur. But even after a week, there was no improvement. The family decided to take him to Ahmedabad where he succumbed to the injuries. The photo of the boy with swollen eyes and an injured nose has surfaced on social media.

"He remained admitted at the hospital in Udaipur for about a week, but seeing no improvement, we took him to Ahmedabad. But his condition did not improve even there and he finally succumbed on Saturday," the boy's father Devaram Meghwal said.

The state education department has initiated an inquiry into the incident. Two officials have been asked to submit a report to the block education officer.

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot said the incident is tragic and the state government will ensure that the victim's family gets justice at the earliest. The CM has also announced an assistance of ₹5 lakh to the family of the deceased.

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