Image credit: BBC

In India, protests against a new army hiring plan became violent, killing one person and injuring 13 others.

On Friday, he was killed in a skirmish between police and protesters in Secunderabad, Telangana’s southernmost city.

According to reports, police opened fire into the throng, but it is unclear whether the man died as a result of a gunshot wound.

Huge protests have erupted in several areas against the intention of hiring soldiers for a four-year contract.

Protesters claim that the government’s intention to hire temporary soldiers will make it harder for them to secure coveted permanent military jobs with guaranteed wages and pensions.

The new Agnipath programme is for people between the ages of 17.5 and 21. According to the document, successful candidates will serve in the military for four years, after which only 25% of them will be kept.

The soldiers will undergo six months of training before being deployed for three and a half years. They will get a monthly beginning wage of 30,000 rupees ($384; £316) during this time, as well as other perks that will increase to 40,000 rupees at the end of the four-year service.

Protests against the initiative began earlier this week in the northern regions of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. They have, however, spread to several other states.

Hundreds of youthful aspirants entered a railway station in Secunderabad, Telangana. Some of them allegedly set fire to stores and buses.

To appease demonstrators, the federal administration stated late Thursday night that individuals aged 23 and up would be eligible to apply in the first year of the program.

On Friday, the government also posted on social media about the numerous options that short-term military personnel will have after their assignment is completed. According to the report, police units would be required to accommodate people who complete their four-year military service periods.

Critics of the plan claim that it will weaken the country’s armed forces while also raising unemployment rates. Those in favour of the idea argue that it is necessary to make the forces more efficient.

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