On Thursday, thousands of enraged teenagers set fire to train coaches and automobiles in several parts of India.
To protest a new short-term government military recruitment program, they stopped roadways and attacked police with rocks.
In Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan, police used batons and tear gas to disperse demonstrators who marched to the streets and vandalized government buildings.
According to S.K. Singhal, a police officer, about 25,000 police officers were deployed in the worst-affected Bihar state, where protests stretched to a dozen towns in eight districts. For several hours, demonstrators blocked highways and delayed train operations.
The armed services can recruit 46,000 men and women between the ages of 17.5 and 21, but only for four years, under a new job program unveiled by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh this week.
After four years, seventy-five percent of them will be forced to retire with no pension benefits.
Over 35 years of service for a full-time recruited soldier.
Singh defended the program, saying its aim is “to strengthen the security of the country.”
As India’s economy rebounds from the economic crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, which is up for national elections in 2024, is under pressure to create jobs.
Short-term military recruitment is based on the premise that those who are trained by the military can afterward work for the police or in the private sector.
Some retired military soldiers and opposition politicians chastised the government.
Rahul Gandhi, a senior member of the opposition Congress party, requested the administration to “listen to the voice of the country’s unemployed youth.”
A railroad station in Gwalior, central India, was plundered, several trains were destroyed, and trash cans were set on fire.
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