Agnipath protests: Scores of youth protest on Yamuna Expressway; 15 arrested, many booked

While protests against the Cente’s military recruitment scheme ‘Agnipath’ continue across various parts of the country, a large number of youngsters were seen gathering on the Yamuna Expressway on Friday following which, they blocked the traffic movement briefly. The protesting youth was seen demonstrating their agitation on the roads which further prompted the Gautam Buddh Nagar police to lodge an FIR against 225 protestors and arrest 15. 

This came after the agitation escalated into a serious clash in the Jewar area of the district, adjoining Delhi in western Uttar Pradesh, following which eight police personnel and a driver of a private bus were injured. In addition to that, the traffic movement on the Jewar toll plaza between Greater Noida and Mathura-Agra also remained blocked for almost an hour at noon. Speaking on the same, a police official informed that a huge police force was rushed to the protest site to handle the law and order situation. 

Furthermore, a traffic police official stated that the traffic movement was briefly disrupted at the Jewar toll plaza due to which vehicles were diverted from Pari Chowk. Later in a statement issued around 1:30 PM, Police Commissioner Alok Singh clarified that no highways were closed in Noida or Greater Noida due to the protests and that vehicular movement was also normal across Gautam Buddh Nagar.

In the evening, in a separate statement, the police informed that 10 people have been arrested and FIRs have been lodged against 225 people in connection with the protests that obstructed vehicular movement during the day.

The number of arrests was later updated to 15, informed UP ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar.

People were booked under various charges following the Agnipath protests 

Speaking about the accused in Agnipath protests in the region, while 15 people have been arrested so far, 75 named and 225 unnamed people have been booked under various IPC sections including 147, 148, 149 (all related to rioting), 323 (causing hurt), 504 (insult to provoke breach of peace), 332 (causing hurt to deter public servant from duty), 353 (assault on public servant), 336 (endangering others’ life), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 427 (mischief), informed the police. 

In addition to that, charges have been also levied under the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1932 in the FIR. While an investigation is currently underway, the police are also scrutinizing CCTV footage, videos, pictures, and other evidence to establish the identity of other accused in the violence. 

Notably, protests have erupted across the country since Wednesday following the Centre’s announcement of introducing the Agnipath scheme to recruit young soldiers into the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and the Indian Air Force for a brief period of four years followed by compulsory retirement that too without gratuity and pension benefits. 

With agency inputs; Image: PTI

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