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HomePoliticsTrinamool mouthpiece sees ‘Agnipath’s shadow' in Shinzo's killing, claims shooter disgruntled

Trinamool mouthpiece sees ‘Agnipath’s shadow’ in Shinzo’s killing, claims shooter disgruntled

A report in mouthpiece 'Jago Bangla' claims Abe’s assassin was a former military man who was disgruntled after he left the service in 2005. BJP calls TMC supremo ‘anti-national’. 

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Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress linked the assassination of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe to an “Agnipath–like” scheme Saturday, claiming that the politician’s assassin — a former military man — had been “disgruntled” because he had been similarly laid off. 

In its mouthpiece Jago Bangla, the Trinamool Congress — which publicly opposed the scheme after protests broke out over it last month — claimed that Abe’s assassin, who the police have identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, a 41-year-old unemployed man, had worked in Japan’s maritime self-defence for three years without pension. 

The report, carried on Jago Bangla’s front-page under the headline ‘Agnipath shadow in Shinzo’s killing’, claims that Abe’s assassin, Tetsuya Yamagami, “is a former Maritime Self Defence staff” who “lost his job after three years of service”. It then draws parallels between his situation and that of ‘Agniveers’ — the name given to soldiers who will be recruited under the central government’s short-term defence recruitment scheme. 

“With Shinzo’s killing, peoples’ qualm over the Agnipath scheme becomes stronger because the assassin used to work in defence without any pension,” the report on Abe’s assassination, written in Bengali, reads. 

“It’s important to highlight that the Centre wants to appoint defense personnel in this manner under the Agnipath scheme. The entire country broke out in protests,”  the report says, adding that after Yamagami lost his job he “hardly got any work”.

“He was angry at Shinzo [Abe] as he had no security nor a job,” the report claimed. 

Senior Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee is the current editor of Jago Bangla

In response to the report, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Member of Legisative Assembly Agnimitra Paul claimed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the chief of Trinamool Congress, had “a habit of raising” such issues.     

“Mamata Banerjee is anti-national. When Shinzo Abe’s murder is under investigation, how can the Trinamool’s Jago Bangla link Agnipath scheme to it,” Paul told ThePrint. “She questioned the [2008] Batla House encounter and [2019] Pulwama terror attack. She sought surgical strike proof. She neither cares for the nation, nor has a vision to make it stronger.”

Abe was shot Friday when he was campaigning for a candidate from his party for Japan’s parliamentary election. A video that went viral shows Yamagami, who was standing behind Abe, firing two rounds and Abe falling as security personnel around him quickly grab the shooter.

However, contrary to Jago Bangla’s claims, media reports have quoted police as claiming that Yamagami held a grudge against an organisation he believed Abe was supporting.

Also Read: Shinzo Abe was ‘passionate’ about ties with India, had special equation with both Modi & Manmohan

‘Agnipath ignores sentiments of the youth’

Announced by the central government on 14 June, Agnipath is a short-term recruitment scheme that envisions recruiting soldiers — called ‘Agniveers’ under the policy — for a period of four years. After this period, only 25 per cent of a recruited batch will be retained. Critics of the scheme claim that the policy — aimed primarily at cutting down on salaries and pensions in the defence forces — doesn’t offer the job security of the regular service.

Violent protests broke out in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Odisha and other parts of the country last month after the announcement, with protesters vandalising trains and railway stations, and destroying public property. 

Banerjee had broken her silence on the scheme at an administrative meeting in Burdwan on 28 June. Slamming the BJP-led central government, she said the scheme would create uncertainty for the youth looking to serve the nation. 

“My aim is to create more and more jobs, unlike the BJP. They will train people for four to six months and recruit them for four years? What will the soldiers do after four years, sit jobless and have lollipops? What will then be their fate? It’s so uncertain,” she said.

Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament Shantanu Sen told ThePrint that the Agnipath policy ignores the “sentiments of the youth”. 

“Whoever speaks against BJP is called an anti-national. This isn’t anything new and Mamata Banerjee too hasn’t been spared by the BJP. But we all know who are the actual anti-nationals and who is muzzling the media,” Sen told ThePrint. “One BJP leader wants to keep the ‘Agniveers’ as a security guard at the BJP office. If Trinamool leadership decides, we’ll raise our objection [to the scheme] in the coming session of Parliament.” 

(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)

Also Read: How Tour of Duty pilot project became Agnipath, a journey of 254 meetings lasting 750 hours


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