“The scheme must be reversed,” Pilot told PTI on the sidelines of Satyagraha.
Calling on the young protesters not to resort to violence, he said: “Protesting against the scheme is their right, but it must be done peacefully. There must be no violence.”
Young people in several parts of the country protested against the controversial recruitment scheme. In recent days, there have been reports of incidents of protesters vandalizing stations, setting trains on fire and blocking roads and railways from various cities.
At the scene of the protest, an increased deployment of police and paramilitary forces was observed. Entry and exit points for Jantar Mantar were blocked.
The Agnipath scheme, announced on June 14, envisions recruiting young people in the age group of 17 and a half to 21 for just four years, with a provision to keep 25 percent of them for another 15 years. The government later extended the upper age limit to 23 for appointments in 2022.
The staff to be hired under the new scheme will be known as Agniveers. The main goal of the scheme is to reduce the average age of servicemen and reduce rising salaries and pensions.