Amid protests across the country against the Centre’s Agnipath scheme, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Friday that every Agniveer, a recruit under the scheme, in the state would be absorbed into the police force.
“Every Agniveer who is a resident of Assam will get a job in the state police forces,” Sarma told reporters, adding that it was a “win-win” situation for the state. “So you will have the experience from the Army, and with the (Army) training you will join the police forces,” he added.
Sarma said the state did not have more than six-seven hundred youths joining the Army at a given time. “At the end of four years, 25 per cent of them will be retained by the Army. So there will be about 500 youths left. In the Assam police, we recruit more than 3,000 people every year. We will gladly accommodate them all,” he said.
Sarma said it would be a “direct recruitment” subject to certain certifications from the Army, such as on good conduct. “As of now, we are in a position to accommodate all Agniveers in the Assam police battalion and the Assam police,” he said.
The chief minister said there had been no violence in the state following the announcement of the scheme. While violent protests have been reported from other states in the past two days, Assam has not witnessed any major protest, barring one in Jorhat on Friday morning. The police said the situation did not get “out of control” there.
“About 100-150 youths had gathered at a stadium in Jorhat in the morning,” said Jorhat superintendent of police Mohan Meena, adding that the protesters were sloganeering for a few hours. “The protesters were planning to move towards the Army recruitment office but after the police intervened, they did not,” he said.
While a few protesters hailed from Jorhat, the others came from districts such as Sonitpur and Karbi Anglong, according to the superintendent of police.