Opposition leaders join anti-army reform protests in India
New Delhi, Jun 20 (EFE).- Several leaders of the opposition Indian National Congress Monday protested against a reform to access the army which triggered indignation among thousands of young people since approved last week.
The nationwide protests were mainly concentrated in New Delhi, where thousands of people blocked train tracks and several main roads against the law.
The bill establishes a four-year trial period after which only 25% of the recruits will be able to continue in active service.
Several youth organizations and supporters of Congress joined the protests, holding a sit-in in New Delhi’s well-known Janpath street market.
Protesters carried out a march to the house of the president of India with the aim of delivering a letter demanding the plan to be reversed.
Images broadcasted by the New Delhi-based NDTV channel showed hundreds of vehicles stranded on the roads of Gurgaon and Noida, two cities located on the outskirts of the Indian capital.
The Railway Protection Force denounced on Monday that 95 criminal cases were registered and 207 arrests were made for vandalism since the beginning of the protests.
The protests on Monday spread through the northern states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, the eastern Jharkhand and West Bengal, and the southern Tamil Nadu.
The new legislation also suspends the pensions of those who are not selected to continue after the trial period, creating uncertainty for most of the applicants.
In India, which has an unemployment rate of 7.5% according to data from the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), access to the military is the last hope for thousands of young people to obtain a source of income. EFE