“The plan should be withdrawn,” Pilot told PTI on the sidelines of the ‘Satyagraha’.
Appealing to the protesting youths not to resort to violence, he said, “It is their right to oppose the plan but it should be done in a peaceful manner.” There should be no violence.
Youth in many parts of the country are protesting against the controversial Defense Recruitment Scheme. In the last few days, incidents of vandalism at railway stations, setting fire to trains and blocking of roads and railway tracks have been reported by protesters from various cities and towns.
Heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces was seen at the protest site. The entry and exit gates of Jantar Mantar have been closed.
The Agneepath scheme, announced on June 14, has a provision to recruit youth in the age group of 17-and-a-half to 21 years only for four years, of which 25 per cent is to be retained for 15 more years. Later, the government increased the upper age limit for recruitment to 23 years in 2022.
The personnel to be recruited under the new scheme will be known as Agniveers. One of the major objectives of this scheme is to reduce the average age of military personnel and cut down on rising salary and pension bills.