Amid the ongoing protests against the Centre's newly-launched Agnipath military recruitment scheme, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Monday said youth are being misguided.
A dialogue programme was organized for discussions with ex-servicemen regarding Agnipath scheme at the Chief Sevak Sadan of CM Camp Office. It is worth mentioning that Uttarakhand is the first state where a dialogue program with ex-servicemen has been organized on Agnipath scheme.
Speaking at the occasion, Dhami said, "Most of the youth have welcomed the Agnipath scheme. It is our responsibility to make our youth aware of the correct facts of the Agnipath scheme. Our youth, young people in our homes are being misguided and being taken in the wrong direction. We are fortunate that the armed forces have always worked as a shield of the society, they have worked as a shield of the country."
Referring to Uttarakhand Minister Ganesh Joshi's statement, Dhami said, "Ganesh Joshi was saying that the common youth did not come to the protests. Only those who were brought here politically or those who were misguided came."
He said the state government will provide benefits to Agniveers from various schemes.
The Chief Minister said that Agnipath scheme has also been brought in the interest of the country. While 25 per cent of the selected Agniveers will be regularized, arrangements are being made for the remaining 75 per cent in various paramilitary forces, state police forces and other institutions. Agniveer trained in the discipline of the army will definitely get priority everywhere.
Chief Minister Dhami said that along with an attractive salary package, risk and hardship allowance would also be given to the firefighters. After a period of four years, 25 per cent will go into regular service in a transparent manner. While the remaining 75 per cent will be given a one-time service fund package. This year 46000 Agniveers will be recruited. This will create a young profile of the army so that the challenges of the future will be met.
Dhami said, "We need to show the right direction to our youth. To save them from getting confused, the correct information about the Agnipath scheme has to be conveyed to them."
The Chief Minister said that there is a problem of migration in the hilly areas of Uttarakhand. There is a huge potential in Horticulture here. The state government will prepare a scheme to encourage Agniveers in horticulture. The priority has already been said in the state police forces.
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.
After the policy, which allows Indian youths to serve in the regular cadre of the Armed Forces for a period of four years, was announced on June 14, protests erupted in various states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand and Assam.
As the agitation intensified in some places, protestors went on the rampage setting trains on fire, torching vehicles and damaging both private and public properties.
Protests have disrupted rail services in several parts of the country. A total of 491 train services have been affected throughout the country due to the ongoing agitation, informed railway officials on Sunday.