Agnipath scheme: No question of rollback, violent protests won’t be tolerated, says NSA Ajit Doval


As an announcement about Agnipat The military recruitment scheme sparked violent protests across the country, with National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Dowal on Tuesday saying the scheme should be viewed from a perspective rather than a stand-alone scheme.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Doval dismissed rumors that the scheme would be withdrawn. “A rollback is out of the question. This (Agnipath scheme) is not a reflex reaction that occurred overnight. This has been discussed and discussed for decades… Although everyone understood that it was necessary, no one had the will or the opportunity to take risks. We needed a leader like a prime minister Narendra Modi who said that if it made India strong and secure, then no risk would be great enough, no cost would be high enough.”

Doval argued that the scheme was in line with one of the top priorities of Narendra Modi’s government to keep the country safe. This, he said, included many steps involving hardware, system and technology changes, and futuristic politics.

“You need to look at this (the Agnipath scheme) from the point of view. It is not a separate scheme in itself. When Prime Minister Modi came to power in 2014, one of his top priorities was how to make India safe and strong. This required many paths, many steps – many,” Doval told ANI.

“Generally speaking, they fall under four chapters. It requires equipment, requires changes in systems and structures, requires changes in technology, requires changes in the workforce and policies that must be futuristic,” he added.

Speaking of protests against the scheme, the NSA said that raising the voice is justified, but vandalism is not. “I think that protests, raising voices are justified and allowed in a democracy. But this vandalism, this violence is unacceptable and will not be allowed at all,” Doval said.

Violent protests have erupted in several parts of the country since June 14, when the central government first announced the Agnipath scheme, with several states witnessing train burning, state property vandalism, and agitators blocking national highways. Applicants have raised job security and end-of-service benefits as their main concerns.



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