NEW DELHI: Union minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt on Sunday termed the Centre’s Agnipath scheme as a ‘golden opportunity’ for youth and urged them to not let it ‘slip through the fingers’.
He appealed to the youth to maintain peace in the nation and slammed the opposition for provocative statements and asked them to speak responsibly.
While talking to ANI, “I am from Yuva Shakti, I will appeal it is a golden opportunity that has come, do not let it slip from your hands and the future is bright, there will be no problem going forward.”
“We request them (youth) to understand (Agnipath) scheme & then take a decision. Convey if any errors. But is this the way that you’re burning buses, and trains, causing harm to national property?. The opposition should make responsible remarks and not provoke,” he added.
While talking about opposition statements on the scheme, “The opposition always keeps making irresponsible statements whether in the house or outside, when Article 370 was removed, and 35A was removed, people said that rivers of blood will flow in Jammu and Kashmir, and there will be a civil war in the country, but it did not happen, but today rivers of development are flowing in Jammu and Kashmir, democracy has become alive.
“In a place where there was no democracy, democracy is persevering. The law is in the interest of the country, the opposition has never liked it,” he added.
Further, he said not to pay any heed to the opposition’s words.
He added, “When the surgical strike happened, the opposition spoke the same language as our neighbours.”
“Efforts are also being made to explain Agneepath completely. The scheme is being explained through TV channels, and newspapers. What is being said by the Defence Minister and Home Minister is being propagated by the TV and newspapers. Everything is done deliberately to defame the government,” he stated.
“I would like to appeal that it is not in the interest of any democratic country to burn the public property, it is also not in the interest of democracy, so I humbly request my youth that you guys study peacefully and you will see the golden future. You have got a very good opportunity, you should calm down and understand everything,” he concluded.
Protests have broken out in various parts of the country against the new recruitment scheme in the Armed Forces. In some places, the protests turned violent as trains were set ablaze.Meanwhile, one person died in Telangana’s Secunderabad on Friday as protests against the newly announced military recruitment policy, Agnipath, turned violent.
Earlier, protesters torched compartments of a train in Bihar’s Samastipur and those in another train at Lakhisarai station.
The protests could be witnessed in Haryana. Earlier on Friday, the protestors vandalised the police barricades, which had been put on the roads of Narnaul, following which Section 144, restricting the gathering of more than four persons, was clamped in the area.
The state government, on Thursday, put in place the prohibitory orders in Palwal, while internet services were suspended in Faridabad district’s Ballabgarh.
Earlier on Thursday, people had hit the streets in Haryana’s Palwal against the Agnipath scheme for recruitment of youths to defence services.
Earlier on Friday, railway traffic was blocked and train coaches were set ablaze in several states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Telangana.
The Union Cabinet on June 14 approved a recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the three services of the Armed Forces called Agnipath and the youth selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers.
Agnipath allows patriotic and motivated youth to serve in the Armed Forces for a period of four years. The Agnipath Scheme has been designed to enable a youthful profile of the Armed Forces.
According to the latest announcement by the Ministry, the upper age limit for the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) – inclusive of Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), National Security Guard (NSG) and Special Protection Group (SPG) – will stand at 26 years.
Meanwhile, the first batch of Agniveers will avail a further relaxation of 5 years beyond the upper age limit of 23, taking it to 28 years.

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