Agnipath aspirants need to give written pledge they didn't take part in violence
New Delhi [India], June 19 (ANI): Giving a stern message to anti-Agnipath protestors who vandalised public property during their agitation, a top military officer on Sunday said that the aspirants will have to "write a pledge in the enrolment form" that they were "not involved in arson", warning that if "FIR is lodged, they simply can't join" the forces.
The police verification of the claims will also be done, as per the official. Addressing a joint press briefing with the officers from the Indian Navy and Air Force, Lt General Anil Puri, Additional Secy, Dept of Military Affairs, MoD, said, "If discipline is our basis, then there is no place for indiscipline.
The aspirants will have to write a pledge in the enrollment form that they were not involved in arson. The police verification will be done. And if FIR is lodged, they simply can't join."
The aspirants will also have to give a certificate that they were not a part of the protest or vandalism.
"Indian Army's foundation is discipline. There is no space for arson or vandalism. Every individual will give a certificate that they were not part of the protest or vandalism. Police verification is 100 per cent, no one can join without that," he said.
"We had not anticipated the recent violence over this scheme. There is no place for indiscipline in the Armed Forces. All candidates will have to give a written pledge that they did not indulge in any arson/violence," he added.
The officer also clarified amid demands by several corners regarding the scrapping of the newly launched Agnipath Scheme, that the programme will "not" be rolled back.
"Coming to the rollback of the scheme, no. Why should it be rolled back? It is the only progressive step to making the country young. Why is it being made young? We are tinkering with 'Desk ki Raksha (national security).
There is no space. I will give you an example. Do you know how many casualties are reported just for health purposes from high-altitude areas? Do read about it, then you would come to know why young is important," the officer said.
He further said that the Centre will start with the recruitment of 46,000 Army aspirants to 'analyse' the scheme.
"In next 4-5 years, our intake (of soldiers) will be 50,000-60,000 and will increase to 90,000 - 1 lakh subsequently. We've started small at 46,000 to analyse the scheme...and to build up infra capacity," said Lt Gen Puri.
He further said, "Our intake of 'Agniveers' will go up to 1.25 lakhs in near future and will not remain at 46,000 which is the present figure."
The top military officer also said the Agniveers will get compensation for Rs one crore if he sacrifices his life in service of the nation.
"We want a mix of josh and hosh and that is why we wanted to reduce the age profile. The average age is 32 years at present and we want to reduce it as per the recommendations of the Kargil review committee and Arun Singh committee report," Arun Puri said.
He said around 17,600 people are taking premature retirement from the three services every year.
"No one ever tried to ask them what they will do after retirement," he stated.
He further asserted that Agniveers would get the same allowance in areas like Siachen and other areas which are applicable to the regular soldiers serving at present.