400 people booked across Uttarakhand for protests against Agnipath


Nearly 400 people have been booked across Uttarakhand so far for protests against the Centre’s newly launched defence recruitment scheme called Agnipath, the police said.

In Haldwani, 300 to 400 people were booked for allegedly staging a violent protest on the Nainital national highway at Tokonia Chouraha on Friday, causing a massive traffic snarl in which ambulances were also struck, the police stated.

The young protestors had turned violent, misbehaved and entered into a scuffle with the police and vandalised public property, the police added. The police then used “mild force” to disperse the crowd. Haldwani City Magistrate Richa Singh and three police personnel sustained injuries in the confrontation, said Senior Superintendent of Police, Nainital, Pankaj Bhatt.

A case has been registered under sections 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 342 (wrongful confinement), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 427 (Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the Indian Penal Code at Haldwani police station.

Haldwani police station in-charge Harendra Chaudhary told Hindustan Times that an investigation into the matter is on and the CCTV footage from the area is being scanned to nab the accused.

In Tanakpur area of Champawat district, about 80-90 unidentified people were booked on Friday for allegedly blocking the National Highway 125 at Pilibhit Chungi around noon. A case was registered against them under sections 147 (rioting) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code at Tanakpur police station.

Superintendent of Police, Champawat, Devendra Pincha said the situation is under control and adequate police personnel had been deployed across the district to maintain law and order.

Uttarakhand Director General of Police Ashok Kumar in a video message on Saturday, which he also shared on his Twitter profile, had appealed to the youth to not engage in violence. On Friday, the state police chief had instructed the district police in charge to remain alert in view of the prevailing situation and take strict action against unruly elements.

Anticipating more protests against the Agnipath scheme by defence aspirants, various organisations and political parties on Monday, the police top brass in Dehradun on Sunday announced that the district will be divided into 10 zones and 21 sectors for the deployment of adequate force to address the law and order situation. (Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)