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BENGALURU : Amid rising violent protest against the new armed forces recruitment scheme introduced by the Indian Government, known as ‘Agnipath’, the Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra on Friday said that the state will give preference to ‘Agniveers’ or the soldiers recruited to the Army, Navy, Air Force under the Agnipath scheme, in recruitment to police services in the state. 

The Agnipath recruitment scheme, approved by the Union Cabinet on 14 June is a short-term contract scheme, under which soldiers will be employed for four years in the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy. 

 Massive protests broke out after the scheme was announced on Tuesday. several states saw violent demonstrations by angry mob. One 19 year old died in Telangana's Secundrabad. Further curfew has been imposed in several other places to contain the protests. 

Twelve train coaches were also set on fire, station vandalised in protest of the Agnipath scheme. 

The Indian government said that candidates from the age 17 and a half years could apply for the Agnipath scheme. However, succumbing to protests, the age limit was increased to 23 from 21. 

The Union Home Ministry on June 15 announced that the 'Agniveers' would get priority in recruitment to the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and the Assam Rifles.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Home Minister said that the Centre and States should look into who are behind instigating military service aspirants to resort to a violent protest on the Agnipath issue in some parts of the country.

"Expressing fear that something might happen in the future one should not burn things like trains and public properties, it (Agnipath) is a new scheme. There are certain sections which don't want any change in this country, they are behind such things (violent protest)," Jnanendra said.

Speaking to reporters, he termed the Agnipath scheme as 'good', and said in countries like Israel, military service is mandatory, while here the intention is to train (Agniveers) for four years along with a salary, and to induct 25% of them into the military services. 

"We have planned to induct such personnel (Agniveers) trained with the military into police services, as it will help us. They will also get various job opportunities, and in times of war or emergencies they can be pressed into service," he added. 

Protests against the Agnipath defence recruitment scheme raged through several States for the third day on Friday with trains torched, public property vandalised and many thousands blocking tracks and highways. 

BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh too have announced that they would give priority to ‘Agniveers’ in recruitment to police and related services in their States. 

Responding to a question on concerns of job security after four years, the Minister said only those willing to serve for four years can apply to be Agniveers; when there are worries about unemployment, this scheme would help those in need; also they would have various job opportunities like police and security among others in the future having the Agnipath-like military training. 

"I'm unable to understand on what basis they (military aspirants) are protesting...Centre and States should look into what forces are behind them," he added. 

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the increase in the age-limit for recruitment into defence forces under the 'Agnipath' scheme from 21 to 23 proves that the Union government, under the leadership of Narendra Modi, is sensitive to the needs of the people.

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