• PTI

Agnipath protests: Ramdev appeals to youth to not resort to violence

Dehradun, Jun 20 (PTI) Yoga guru Ramdev on Monday appealed to the youths protesting the Centre's Agnipath defence recruitment scheme to not resort to violence, saying burning trains is not the solution to anything.


The Agnipath scheme, announced on June 14, provides for the recruitment of youths in the age bracket of 17-and-half to 21 years in the armed forces for only four years with a provision to retain 25 per cent of them for 15 more years. Later, the government extended the upper age limit to 23 years for recruitment in 2022.



Youths in several parts of the country have been protesting against the contentious scheme. Over the past few days, incidents of protesters vandalising railway stations, setting trains on fire and blocking roads and railway tracks have been reported from different cities and towns.


"Destroying national property is self-damaging. Burning trains is not the solution to anything. The youths should be patient. They should not resort to violence to protest against the scheme," Ramdev told reporters on the sidelines of a programme at Patanjali Yogpeeth in Haridwar.


"The government is aware of their (protesters') concerns. If correctional steps are needed, they will be taken," he said.


"If they still want to protest, they should do so in a non-violent manner," he said.


Ramdev performed yoga asanas along with his close aide Acharya Balkrishna and thousands of his followers at Patanjali Yogpeeth on the eve of International Day of Yoga.


The yoga guru said it is a fallacy that yoga is not for people belonging to certain communities.


"Yoga is not a method of worship but a process of becoming self-reliant in terms of healthy living. Those who try to mislead people about yoga must know that Islamic and Christian countries are among the 177 nations supporting yoga," Ramdev said.



Separately, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami participated in a 'Run for Yoga' rally in Dehradun on Monday and credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bringing international recognition to the ancient Indian practice.


Accompanied by Uttarakhand Director General of Police Ashok Kumar, Dehradun Mayor Sunil Uniyal Gama and MLAs Khajan Das and Vinod Chamoli, Dhami appealed to the people of the state to celebrate International Day of Yoga as a festival.