A Government Order stated that the Warangal District Collector shall take immediate action to employ the brother of Damera Rakesh, who was killed in the Secunderabad station on June 17.

Poster of Damera Rakesh during the funeral processionImage: By Arrangement
news Agnipath Violence Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 10:35

The Telangana government on Friday, June 24, issued orders to provide employment to the brother of Damera Rakesh, who died after security personnel opened fire during anti-Agnipath demonstrations that led to violence at Secunderabad railway station on June 17. Damera Ram Raju, elder brother of Damera Rakesh, should be appointed under compassionate grounds in a suitable post, as per eligibility, a Government Order (GO) said on Friday night. The order further stated that the Warangal District Collector shall take necessary immediate action.

Secunderabad station saw violent protests against the Union government’s Agneepath scheme for recruitment into the military. The protesters stormed into the Secunderabad railway station on June 17, and there were incidents of train bogies being burnt, other railway property destroyed and stone pelting from there. They also clashed with the police, who fired teargas shells and rubber bullets at the protesters. Rakesh died when police opened fire on the agitating aspirants.

Expressing shock and sympathy over the death of Rakesh, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had on June 17 announced Rs 25 lakh ex-gratia to the kin of the deceased. He had also announced a government job to a family member as per qualifications. However, the ruling TRS was accused of using Rakesh’s death for political mileage, with several people alleging that Rakesh’s last rites were turned into a party event, as TRS MLAs and leaders were seen wearing pink shawls and setting up pink boards on the tractor carrying his body.

The Agnipath scheme, announced on June 14, provides for the recruitment of those in the age bracket of 17-and-half to 21 years in the armed forces for only four years, with a provision to retain 25% of them for 15 more years. Those recruited through the scheme would be known as Agniveers. The government projected the scheme as a major step in overhauling the decades-old selection process to enhance the youthful profile of the services.

However, people across the country have been protesting against the contentious scheme. As protests against the scheme intensified, the government relaxed the upper age limit to 23 years in a move to pacify job aspirants who could not attend recruitment rallies for the last two years. The recruitment had been stalled for over two years due to COVID-19.

Watch: Agnipath protests are a sign of India's unemployment crisis:

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