Agnipath: ‘How many bulldozers were used against protestors?’ asks Asaduddin Owaisi
Since Wednesday, India has seen several violent protests against the scheme, which provides for short-term recruitment into the armed forces.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday asked whether bulldozers would be used to demolish the houses of those who are protesting against the Centre’s Agnipath scheme, ANI reported.
Since Wednesday, India has seen several violent protests against the Agnipath scheme, which provides for short-term recruitment into the armed forces. The scheme was announced by the government on Tuesday.
The protestors are demanding permanent recruitment under the regular process as well as pension and other retirement benefits that are not a part of the Agnipath scheme.
Owaisi on Saturday said that several young persons are on the streets due to the “wrong decision” of the Narendra Modi-led government and asked how many bulldozers were used against the protestors. “We don’t want anyone’s house to be demolished,” he added.
The Bharatiya Janata Party government has often razed the houses of those who allegedly indulge in violence. The majority of the time, the houses belong to Muslims. There are no provisions under Indian law to demolish the home of anyone accused of a crime.
The AIMIM chief on Saturday also referred to a statement by Varanasi Police Commissioner A Satish Ganesh that those who were protesting were “our children” and that the administration was explaining the nature of the scheme to them.
“Are Muslims not your children, CP [Commissioner of Police] Sahab?” Owaisi said. “...We, too, are the children of this country.”
The AIMIM chief asked why the police did not adopt a similar stance to deal with protests by Muslims against derogatory remarks by Bharatiya Janata Party spokespersons about Prophet Muhammad.
Last week, civic administrations in Uttar Pradesh razed the houses of several persons who allegedly took part in the protests. Political activist Javed Mohammed was among those whose houses were demolished.
The Prayagraj Development Authority claimed it had given Mohammed a notice on May 10 about his illegal construction. However, Mohammed’s family denied receiving any communication.
Owaisi on Saturday sought the arrest of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her remarks about the Prophet, and demanded action should be taken against her as per the Constitution, according to ANI. He accused the BJP of shielding her and urged Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao to bring her to the southern state.
“I know that Nupur Sharma will be made a big leader in the coming six-seven months,” the AIIMM chief claimed. “It is also possible that she will be made the Delhi CM candidate.”