Several Left-affiliated organisations, including the Students’ Federation of India, staged a protest at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on June 29 demanding a rollback of the Agnipath defence recruitment scheme. Activists accused the government of "privatising and contractualising" the Army through the Agnipath scheme.
The protesters held placards which read: "Roll Back Agnipath", "India needs guaranteed employment, not Agnipath", and "Scrap Agnipath Scheme". Activists of the Democratic Youth Federation of India , SFI, All India Youth Federation (AIYF), All India Students’ Federation (AISF), Revolutionary Youth Front (RYF), All India Youth League (AIYL) among others participated in the protest.
"We need to understand the intention of the government behind the scheme. Who wants employment just for four years? What will happen to them after four years? How will they feed their family? The government does not understand this," said an activist.
Protests had erupted in various parts of the country after the Centre unveiled the Agnipath scheme to recruit youngsters aged between 17-and-a-half and 21 years in the army, navy and air force, largely on a four-year contractual basis.It later relaxed the upper age limit for this year’s recruitment to 23.