‘Conflict entrepreneurs’ with vested interest behind Agnipath protest, arson: NSA Doval

New Delhi: Amid the row over the Centre’s newly-launched Agnipath recruitment scheme for defence forces, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Tuesday said there are “conflict entrepreneurs” with vested interests who are behind the protests over the scheme.

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In an exclusive with ANI, Doval said while there are people who are truly concerned and “their fear of unknown” is being gradually addressed and there is another group which does “not care for the country or security of the nation” and resorts to violence and damage to public property.

“I will say there are two kinds of opposition. There are one group of people who are truly concerned, who have served the country. They only have the fear of the unknown. It is anxiety before any big change. People are now understanding gradually that it has been a long-term due. They are now finding it a good move,” he said.

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“But, there is another group. They do not care for the country or the security of the nation. They are conflict entrepreneurs. They want a conflict in society. These are the people who will go for stone-throwing, demonstrations, burning trains. They are with a vested interest. Whenever they have an opportunity they think they can mislead the people,” he added.

NSA Doval said the youth who are serious in joining the Armed Forces do not get misguided.

“A true Agniveer will not be influenced or misguided. They will prepare rather than do protests. The people who are doing all this, I do not think they are willing to join the Armed Forces or have a psychic mental set.” he emphasised.

He said raising voice is justified but vandalism will not be tolerated.

“I think protest, raising voice is justified in a democracy. Violence and vandalism will not be tolerated. Reforms are required in various forms such as Police. Lessons should be learnt from the circumstances. Many FIRs have been lodged. People behind these will be identified,” said Doval.

The “transformative” Agnipath scheme, announced by Union Minister Rajanath Singh on June 14, in the presence of the three service chiefs provides for the recruitment of into the Armed services of youths between the age bracket of 17-and-a-half-years to 21 for only four years with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years. The Centre later extended the upper age limit to 23 years for recruitment in 2022.

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