Amid the protests against Agnipath, the new military recruitment scheme, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday said those who destroy the nation’s assets don’t deserve to be in Army. “Tell me one thing. Those who are damaging the properties of the country, do they deserve to go in Army? Should they join Army and the police force?… Sena mein rashtra bhakt jata hai, rashtra ki sampatti ko nuksaan pahuchane wala nahi jata hai (a patriot goes to the Army, not the one who damages the assets of the nation),” Adityanath said at a BJP rally in Rampur while campaigning for the party’s candidate in the Lok Sabha bypoll there.
He also accused the Opposition of “misleading the youths” and added that ‘for the very same reason, people are teaching the Opposition parties lessons”.
Adityanath said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to prepare 10 lakh youths as Agniveers in the next one-and-a-half years and give them an opportunity to serve in the Army, para military and polices forces should be welcomed by all.
The CM’s remark came a day after his government said that it will recover damages for the destruction caused to public and private properties by the protesters during the violent protest that broke out in 20 districts of the state last Friday soon after the Centre unveiled the scheme.
The administration has also started the process of assessing the damages. “Letters have been sent to concerned departments to provide details of their losses. Notice will be issued to the public to provide details of the losses. All reports of damages will be sent to a tribunal for issuing recovery notice,” said a senior police officer on Tuesday.
During the protests, youths damaged trains, buses and vehicles and set them on fire at several places. Several private and government properties were also damaged in stone-pelting.
Meanwhile, the number of arrests in connection with the Agnipath protest crossed 1,000 on Tuesday.
“A total of 1,120 people have been arrested so far in connection with the 64 cases. Among those arrested, 618 have been booked for breach of peace,” Additional Director General (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said.
Among the 64 FIRs registered, a maximum of 11 have been filed in Jaunpur, followed by nine cases in Varanasi and six in Aligarh.
“No violence was reported from any part of the state today. Heavy police forces have been deployed across the state. Police are also keeping a watch on social media,” Kumar added.