Khap panchayat leaders and some representatives of farmers’ unions have announced social isolation of young people participating in Agnipath’s recruitment program for the armed forces in Haryana. They have also announced a boycott of politicians from the ruling BJP-JJP combination and companies that have supported the plan.
The Agnipath scheme has sparked protests across the country as it will only be in service for four years, after which at least 75 percent of recruits will be laid off without retirement benefits.
A meeting was called on Wednesday in the town of Sampla in the Rohtak district of Haryana, bringing together representatives of various khaps and other community groups from Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. Members of student organizations were also part of it.
Om Prakash Dhankar, head of the Dhankar khap, which chaired the meeting, announced: “We will try to socially isolate those applying for this recruitment. We are boycotting this plan that wants young people to be hired as workers in the name of a” Agnite’ being.” Asked if this amounts to a boycott of the applicants, he said: “We don’t use the word ‘boycott’ for them, but the community will keep their distance from such people.”
He called for a ‘boycott’ of companies and politicians who supported the plan announced on June 14. Indian products in Gulf countries after some BJP representatives made comments about the prophet Mohammed several weeks ago.
As for immediate demands, Mr Dhankar said cases against protesters booked during the agitation against the scheme should be dropped. There will now be a “permanent protest” at Chhotu Ram Dham in Sampla, and people from across the region should join, he said.