Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Sunday slammed the Centre's Agnipath recruitment scheme and said that the move has left the country's youth 'disappointed and frustrated'.
She urged the government to reconsider its decision and requested the youth to exercise restraint.
Protests have erupted 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.
"At a time when the vast population of the country, especially the youth, except a handful of people, is forced to fight tirelessly every day on the path of poverty, inflation, unemployment, stress etc. The recruitment scheme has made many disappointed and frustrated," Mayawati tweeted.
"It is the result of over-limiting the number and possibilities of recruitment in railways, army and paramilitary forces etc. Youth's anger is boiling, which needs to be handled properly," she added. "It is again requested that the future of the country should reconsider its decision by taking seriously the issue of pain and the future of these suffering youth and take Parliament into confidence in such important matters related to the security of the country. The youth are also appealed to exercise restraint," she said.
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. —ANI