Agnipath scheme: Applicants must give certificate that they didn’t participate in protests, say top military officers

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, June 19, 2022, 03:37 PM IST
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Youths protest against the newsly launched 'Agnipath' scheme by the government | PTI

Those applying for the centre's new military recruitment scheme, 'Agnipath', would have to give an undertaking that they were not part of any violent protest or incident of arson that have broken out across the country, the top defence said during a press briefing amidst outrage over the latest scheme.

"Every individual will give a certificate that they were not part of the protest or vandalism," said Lt General Anil Puri, Addit'l Secy, Dept of Military Affairs during a briefing by top officers from the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Stressing that a police verification of all applicants will be carried out before they are considered for selection as 'Agniveers', he said, "Discipline is a basic need for armed forces, If there is any FIR against any candidate they cannot be a part of Agniveers."

"And if any FIR lodged against them, they can't join...They (aspirants) will be asked to write as part of the enrollment form that they were not part of the arson, their police verification will be done," Puri added.

The Union Cabinet on June 14 approved a recruitment scheme for Indian youth to serve in the three services of the Armed Forces called Agnipath and the youth selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers.

Under the scheme, people between the age of 17.5 years and 21 years will be inducted into the services for a four-year tenure. During this period, they will be paid a monthly salary between Rs 30,000-40,000 plus allowances, followed by compulsory retirement for most without gratuity and pension benefits.

Following the announcement of the scheme, agitations broke out and a tense situation prevailed in various states. The protests took place in several states including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand and Assam so far.

In a few states, the protests turned violent, which included setting trains on fire and stone-pelting incidents, and arrests were made. In Uttar Pradesh at least 250 people have been arrested and six FIRs were lodged till Friday. One died in Telangana's Secunderabad district.

Protesters expressed concerns about their future after four-year of contractual employment in the Indian Army, hence, demanding immediate rollback of the scheme.

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