Amritpal Singh : Amid major political controversy over the absence of an honor guard recruited by Agniveer, the Indian army said on Sunday that Amritpal Singh died by suicide by shooting himself while on guard duty and clarified that his funeral was not accorded military honours. deaths no such awards are given for self-inflicted injuries.
Amritpal Singh, who served in a battalion of the Army’s Jammu and Kashmir Rifles unit in the Poonch sector, died on October 11 and was cremated on Friday at his native village in Punjab’s Mansa district.
The army also maintained that it does not discriminate between soldiers on the basis of whether they joined the force before or after the implementation of the Centre’s Agnipath programme, which recruits soldiers below the rank of officer in the three branches of the armed forces. All employees are employed for four years only.
In a statement on Sunday evening, the army said there had been “misunderstandings and misinformation” about the facts surrounding Singh’s death.”Unfortunate deaths by suicide/self-harm, regardless of type of entry, are honored by the Armed Forces with deep and abiding empathy for the family,” it read.
“It is a great loss to the family and the Indian Army that Agniveer Amritpal Singh committed suicide by shooting himself while on guard duty,” the military stated.
Following medico-legal proceedings, as is currently the case, the remains were escorted to their original location for last rites at the request of the Army,” it said.
The army said the armed forces do not differentiate between soldiers who joined before or after the introduction of the Agnipath system in terms of rights and protocols.
“But in such cases, there is no right to military burial under the existing Army Order of 1967. The policy in this regard has been consistently followed since then without any discrimination,” the Army said.
“According to such data, the annual average loss ranges from 100 to 140 soldiers since 2001, when deaths were due to suicide/self-harm and no military funerals were held in such cases,” it added.
It also said disbursement of financial assistance/entitlement assistance, including immediate financial assistance for funeral arrangements, is a priority.
The military said that at this time it is important and society’s duty to protect the respect, privacy and dignity of the family while sympathising with them in their hour of grief.
“The armed forces are known for following policy and protocol and continue to do so. The Indian Army seeks support from all sections of society following its established protocols,” he said.
On Saturday, the Army Headquarters Nagrota White Knight Corps said Singh died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound while on duty in the Rajouri sector.
He added that an ongoing court of inquiry is investigating further details of her death. Death occurred on October 11.
Singh’s remains, along with that of a non-commissioned officer and four other ranks, were taken in a civilian ambulance hired by the Agniveer unit, the White Knight Corps said, adding that the accompanying military personnel also took part in the last rites. However, the White Knight Corps said that since the cause of death was a self-inflicted wound, there was no honour guard or military funeral, as is current practice.
Agniveer Scheme announced in June 2022 for armed forces recruitment. The system is only for recruitment of soldiers and not for military officers. The soldiers recruited under this Agneepath system are known as Agniveers.
Amritpal Singh : Opposition storms focus on Agnipathi’s plan
On Saturday, a controversy arose in which the opposition parties expressed their shock over the issue. On Sunday, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) questioned the Center over its policy under the Agnipathi scheme. AAP leader Raghav Chadha said in a press conference that Singh’s family is not allowed to think but he will not get martyr status.
“No army unit came to hand over his body. His body was brought in a private ambulance and he was not given military honours. But the police gave him state honours during the last rites,” Chadha news agency quoted him as saying.
He said it “raises serious questions” about the policies of the BJP-led Centre. “Punjab government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mannini will give ₹1 billion to the family of Samma Rashina Amritpal Singh and also give him martyr status. Punjab government is with them in this hour of mourning,” the AAP leader said.
Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said she was shocked to learn that Singh was cremated without a military guard.
He sought the intervention of defence minister Rajnath Singh in the matter seeking necessary directions to give military honours to all the martyred soldiers.
Commenting on the incident, Punjab Congress leader Amrinder Singh Raja Warring said, “It is a sad day for our country as this (soldier) recruited under the Agniveer scheme was sent home in a private ambulance and was not given a guard of honour. @adgpi .”
“Does being a fan mean their lives don’t matter that much,” he asked with X
“The extended family had to ask the local Punjab police to give our little boy a guard of honour. Is this why @BJP4India started this practice? Do we treat our agniveer differently than other soldiers? Does the central government have any answers to this inhumane treatment of our young martyr? Shame!” Warring added.