BHUBANESWAR: All India Students Federation (AISF) Odisha staged demonstration near state assembly here on Saturday demanding withdrawal of Agnipath scheme by the Centre.
A group of students led by AISF Odisha president Sanghamitra Jena flaunting placards and banners demanded the Centre not to create a contractual job system in defence. They also burnt the effigy of defence minister Rajnath Singh and other leaders.
Jena said recruitment for youths in the defence sector has been stopped since 2019. The appointment process started during pre-Covid time is yet to be completed. “The Angipath scheme will make the army, navy and Airforce weak due to the contractual system (four-year job system),” she added.
She said 75 percent of recruited Agniveers will go jobless after a four-year job in defence. “Due to lack of job, they may get patronise from radical groups, separatists and terrorist organisations. It will create an internal security threat for the country,” she added.
Jena said the Centre has failed to create jobs in the country. Unemployment rate has increased manifold. “Permanent job sources in the government sector are curtailed day by day due to the wrong policy of the government. Now the government has started a contractual system in the defence sector too. It is unfortunate,” she added.
Other students said the Centre should rollback the Agnipath scheme to stop this nation-wide protest. “Resume the appointment process started before the Covid pandemic by reducing the age limit,” said an agitating student.
The protestors also demanded both the state government and the Centre to issue advertisements for filling up the vacant posts in different government departments and ministries. “They also urged the government to pay pensions to the employees after retirement. Other benefits should be offered to the employees without creating any bias,” said a student.