Indian govt. bans WhatsApp teams for allegedly spreading misinformation and coordinating protests towards Agnipath army reforms

Following protests that turned in violent throughout a number of components of the nation over Indian authorities’s ‘Agnipath’ army reforms, the govt.. has banned as many as 35 WhatsApp teams for allegedly spreading misinformation and coordinating protests.

In case you might be unaware of the scheme that resulted in protests within the northern and jap components of the nation, here’s a recap. Agnipath, or “path of fireplace”, is a pan-India merit-based army recruitment scheme. It’s designed to convey extra individuals into the army on four-year contracts and in flip,  decrease the typical age of the armed forces of the nation.

Agniveers (those that can be recruited beneath the Agnipath Scheme) can be enrolled for a service period of 4 years (together with the coaching interval). After the period is accomplished, solely one-fourth (25%) of the Agniveers can be retained or re-enlisted within the common cadre primarily based on benefit, willingness and medical health. They are going to then serve for a full time period of one other 15 years.

‘Defence consultants’ have criticized the scheme, saying that it might weaken the construction of the forces, have critical ramifications for nationwide safety, reduce down tenure and provide fewer advantages on the finish of the contract. It additionally sparked violent protests throughout the nation as hundreds of younger males attacked practice coaches, burnt tires and clashed with officers.

As soon as the Ministry of Electronics and Info Expertise (MeitY) obtained inputs from the Ministry of Residence Affairs (MHA), it issued the orders beneath Part 69A of the Info Expertise Act for disbanding the teams (social media intermediaries should adjust to orders handed beneath this part of the IT Act.)

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In response to the officers, a few of these teams had as many as 300 members they usually have been getting used to coordinate protests which had resulted in violence at sure locations. For now, the federal government will observe the developments on social media over the approaching week and can take down any content material that can incite violence. It isn’t recognized whether or not any steps have been taken towards the directors of the teams.

The protests is not going to cease the enrolment beneath the Agnipath scheme, in response to high defence officers, who added that 46,000 cadets can be recruited this 12 months.