HYDERABAD: Planning Board vice-chairman B Vinod Kumar on Saturday requested the President to withdraw all cases on students who participated in agitations against Agnipath, and allow them to write further examinations. In Narsampet on Saturday, Vinod Kumar paid floral tributes to Damera Rakesh, who died in the police firing during the Agnipath agitation at Secunderabad Railway station.
Speaking to reporters later, Vinod Kumar said students had resorted to this violence in a fit of anger, but it wasn’t a cold-blooded plan. He said that currently there were 14 lakh armed personnel in three defence services - Army, Navy and Air Force.
“The total defence budget in 2022-23 is `5.25 lakh crore. Of this, `3.70 lakh crore goes to salaries and pensions. Only `1.55 lakh crore is left for the purchase of arms and modernisation of forces. If the Centre wants to cut down on pension bill, it should be done in a gradual and phased manner, not suddenly,” Vinod Kumar said.