Police in Haryana's Palwal town fired shots into the air to disperse hundreds of violent protesters out on the streets on Thursday to demonstrate against the Agnipath scheme for recruitment to defence services. 

Five police vehicles were torched, several roadways buses damaged in stone-pelting and the National Highway 19 was blocked.

Even the protesters pelted the house and office of the Deputy Commissioner with stones. Police undertook a baton-charge and fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Reports say Deputy Commissioner Yashpal Khatana got injured. However, there was no official confirmation.

Amid the protest, local authorities suspended Internet and SMS services for the next 24 hours, besides slapping prohibitory orders under Section 144, curbing assembly of five or more people in the town.

Elsewhere in Haryana, the situation was tense in Rewari town with youths blocked road outside the bus stand and pelted stones on the police. Police had to conduct a baton-charge to disperse the crowd.

Congress leader and ex-serviceman Capt Ajay Yadav said the scheme was aimed to demean the spirit of forces and cut down on benefits being given to soldiers.

"The army is not a profession but passion and life. Our districts like Rewari send their sons to serve the nation every year and this demeans their passion. Over 4 lakh posts are vacant in the army and this is a cheap attempt to compensate them with small contract employment that is unacceptable," he said.
Source IANS

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