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Damaging public property would be harming nation's interests: Vice President Naidu as Agnipath protests continue

New Delhi : As protests against the 'Agnipath' scheme in several parts of the country continue, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said people have every right to protest but there is no place for violence in a democracy. The damaging public property would be harming the nation's interests, he said and called upon people to shun extremist tendencies. Interacting with a group of students from Jawaharlal Nehru University at Upa-Rashtrapati Nivas, Naidu called upon the people to protect the nation's unity, sovereignty and integrity and said that hatred and intolerance are not part of Indian culture.The Vice President reiterated that India is the largest thriving parliamentary democracy and follows the principle of 'Sarva Dharma Sambhava'. He said that the colonial rulers tried to create an inferiority complex among Indians and urged students to take pride in India's glorious civilisation. Replying to a variety of questions from the students, the Vice President said that to be successful in life, it is important to aim high, work hard, and remain committed to achieving one's goals. He advised the students to read about the lives and teachings of our great leaders and emulate their qualities to achieve success. The Vice President wanted the students to protect and promote their mother tongue while acquiring proficiency in as many languages as possible. He advised the students to adopt healthy food practices and undertake regular exercise. Protests have broken out 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. 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. Notably, Agnipath Scheme was launched by the government, on June 14, in an effort to bring a change in the recruitment process of the Armed Forces. With the new military recruitment scheme facing a backlash by Opposition, the Centre has decided to bring a change in the upper age limit for recruiting Agniveers. Granting a one-time waiver, the Centre on June 16, 2022, announced that the Agniveer upper age limit for recruitments via Agnipath Scheme has been extended to 23 years from 21 years. The scheme is 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.

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