CHENNAI: The Chennai city police detained around 200 youngsters when they staged a protest in front of the secretariat on Saturday demanding that the Centre recruit them to the Army.
Almost all these youngsters had appeared for a physical test and certificate verification as part of an Army recruitment drive in 2019. However, the Common Entrance Exam (CEE) was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Saturday, as the nation was witnessing protests against the new Agnipath scheme for recruiting soldiers, these youngsters demanded that the central government give them an assurance that it would recruit those who had completed the pre-qualification procedure. The agitators alleged that the central government had not mentioned about relaxing the age limit for those who appeared for physical test in 2019.
“We won’t come under the newly Agnipath scheme. We came here to visit the army recruitment office located at the secretariat to inquire about our plight. The cops are not letting us inside the office,” said Manohara Pandian of Madipakkam.
The protesters holding placards raised slogans against the central government. The placards read: “We want the Army to conduct the pending CEE. Go back Agnipath.”
North Chennai additional commissioner of police T S Anbu held talks with the protesters. However, they refused to leave. Subsequently, the cops detained the protesters at the RR Stadium in Egmore.
A senior police officer said, “The protesters were given counselling about their future if they indulge in the protests without obtaining police permission. If they refuse to accept it, we will slap a case on them.”
Meanwhile, as anti-Agnipath protesters targeted rail coaches in some parts of the country, the city police beefed up security at Chennai Central and Egmore railway stations on Saturday.