Several states across India, including Bihar and Telangana, have seen huge protests against a government plan to hire soldiers on fixed rather than permanent contracts.
The new Agnipath scheme is aimed at people aged between 17.5 and 21. Successful candidates will join the armed services for four years, after which only a quarter of them will be retained.
Protesters say the government’s plan to hire temporary soldiers will reduce their chances of getting coveted permanent military jobs, which guarantee fixed salaries and pensions.
The government says the reforms will reduce unemployment and military spending, and it has promised to create hundreds of thousands of other jobs for India’s youth.