Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modiâ€™s visit to Bengaluru, the Karnataka Police on Monday, June 20, took into custody at least 30 Congress members who planned to protest against the PM in the city. The police took the leaders of the Congress Kisan Cell, including its president Sachin Migha, into custody in Chikmagalur. They purportedly planned to gherao the Yelahanka Air Force base in Bengaluru, where the Prime Minister landed on Monday afternoon.
The Kisan Cell leaders had planned to leave for Bengaluru from Chikmagalur in 10 vehicles to stage the protest against PM Modi. However, they were taken into custody by the police there as soon as they left for the city. They reportedly shouted slogans against PM Modi and the BJP even as they were being taken away by the police.
The Karnataka police are on high alert as protests over the Union governmentâ€™s Agnipath scheme, for recruitment into the military, sparked violent riots across the country. As per IANS, thousands of police officers including two Additional Police Commissioners, two Joint Police Commissioners, 12 DCPs, 30 ACPs and 80 police inspectors have been deputed in Bengaluru to prevent any law and order situations while the PM is on his two-day visit. PM Modi is set to inaugurate a slew of railway and development projects, along with the Dr BR Amedkar School of Economics at the Bangalore University campus. On Tuesday, June 21, he is slated to go to Mysuru for the occasion of International Yoga Day.
Protests have rocked parts of India as several organisations have called for a â€˜Bharat Bandhâ€™, demanding the scrapping of the Agnipath scheme. In Karnataka, protests were seen in Dharwad on Saturday, June 18, when protesters pelted stones on a bus, prompting the police to disperse them using mild lathi charge.
The Union government had, last Tuesday, unveiled the Agnipath scheme under which youths between 17-and-a-half and 21 years would be inducted in the three military services for a four-year tenure. Twenty-five percent of the recruits will be retained for regular service. The government projected this scheme as a major overhaul of the decades-old selection process to enhance the youthful profile of the services. However, as protests against the scheme intensified, the government relaxed the upper age limit to 23 years in a move to ease the agitations. The announcement of the new scheme came in the backdrop of recruitment into the military being stalled for over two years due to COVID-19.