The Centre’s Agnipath scheme, which sees troopers being recruited for 4 years, has turn out to be a subject of debate and dialogue as soon as once more after a recruit – known as an Agniveer – died on obligation in Siachen on Saturday.
Following the younger recruit’s demise, questions have arisen over pension advantages to the household, with the Congress alleging that the Agniveer scheme was an “insult to the heroes of India”, claiming no pension or different advantages are given to the households of Agniveers after their martyrdom – a cost that the Centre has denied vehemently.
We take a better have a look at what the foundations say about Agniveer emoluments and whether or not their households are entitled to any advantages following the soldier’s demise.
Agniveer’s loss of life
On Saturday, Gawate Akshay Laxman, hailing from Maharashtra’s Aurangabad and recruited into the Indian Military as an Agniveer, handed away on the Siachen glacier, also referred to as the world’s highest battlefield.
In response to the Military, Laxman died as a consequence of “medical complications arising out of high-altitude conditions”. The Indian Military’s Hearth and Fury Corps condoled the soldier’s loss of life, writing on X, “Quartered in snow silent to stay, when the bugle calls they shall rise and march once more.
“All ranks of Fire and Fury Corps salute the supreme sacrifice of #Agniveer (Operator) Gawate Akshay Laxman, in the line of duty, in the unforgiving heights of #Siachen and offer deepest condolences to the family.”
This marks the primary such casualty within the line of obligation because the short-term recruitment of troopers underneath the Agnipath scheme started final yr.
One other Agniveer, recognized later as Amritpal Singh, had died by suicide whereas on sentry obligation in Rajouri sector of Jammu and Kashmir on 11 October. Nevertheless, since his harm was “self-inflicted”, he was not accorded with any honours.
Row over cost and pension
After the Indian Military introduced the soldier’s demise, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi known as the scheme an ‘insult’ India’s bravehearts.
“A young man was martyred for the country – no gratuity, no other military facilities for his service, and no pension to his family in martyrdom. Agniveer is a plan to insult the heroes of India,” Gandhi stated in a publish on X, previously Twitter.
सियाचिन में, अग्निवीर गवाते अक्षय लक्ष्मण की शहादत का समाचार बहुत दुखद है। उनके परिवार को मेरी गहरी संवेदनाएं।
एक युवा देश के लिए शहीद हो गया – सेवा के समय न ग्रेच्युटी न अन्य सैन्य सुविधाएं, और शहादत में परिवार को पेंशन तक नहीं।
अग्निवीर, भारत के वीरों के अपमान की योजना है! pic.twitter.com/8LcQpZR9f2
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 22, 2023
Different social media handles in addition to former Military veterans additionally identified that Laxman’s household wouldn’t obtain a pension.
Navdeep Singh, a lawyer, who has authored books on navy pensions, wrote on X: “Ironically, the family of a temporary trainee civil employee even if she/he dies in an accident on getting drunk while on leave or by suicide, would be entitled to family pension, but not the family of this Agniveer Battle Casualty in Siachen (sorry for the dark and seemingly insensitive examples/ comparison).”
Air Vice Marshal Manmohan Bahadur (retired) was additionally quoted as telling Occasions of India that if a ‘regular’ jawan had died alongside Laxman in Siachen, his household would have gotten all the advantages for the “same task, same threat and in the same service”.
Following the controversy on whether or not Laxman’s subsequent of kin would obtain any pension, the Indian Military issued an announcement to make clear the emoluments as a consequence of Laxman’s household and to the subsequent of kin of different Agniveers who die within the line of obligation.
In view of conflicting messages on social media relating to monetary help to the Subsequent of Kin of the… pic.twitter.com/46SVfMbcjl
— ADG PI – INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) October 22, 2023
The Military said that as per the phrases of engagement, an Agniveer’s household would obtain a non-contributory insurance coverage sum, amounting to Rs 48 lakh. They might even be given Rs 44 lakh as compensation, 30 per cent of Seva Nidhi contributed by the Agniveer with equal matching contribution by the federal government, and curiosity thereon.
The emoluments would additionally embrace pay for the steadiness tenure from the date of loss of life, until completion of 4 years (over Rs 13 lakh); as per steadiness residual tenure, and contribution of Rs 8 lakh from Armed Forces Battle Casualty Fund, they added.
A direct monetary help of Rs 30,000 from the Military Wives Welfare Affiliation would even be given to the subsequent of kin.
BJP’s I-T cell in-charge Amit Malviya slammed Rahul Gandhi for his earlier publish, calling it “absolute trash and irresponsible”.
He additionally urged the Congress chief to “stop peddling #FakeNews. You are aspiring to be Prime Minister. Try and behave like one.”
Previous Agniveer row
Earlier within the month too, there was an identical controversy over the loss of life of an Agniveer. On the time, the Military had confronted criticism for denying a navy funeral to an Agniveer who died in Jammu.
The Jammu-based White Corps had then stated in an announcement that Agniveer Amritpal Singh, 19, had died whereas on sentry obligation within the Rajouri sector “due to a self-inflicted gunshot injury”. Officers stated no guard of honour is offered in instances associated to self-inflicted harm.
Military officers added that that is the prevailing coverage for all troopers, not only for Agnivereers. “Unfortunate instances of death arising out of suicide/self-inflicted injury, irrespective of the type of entry, are accorded due respect by the Armed Forces along with deep and enduring empathy with the family. Such cases, however, are not entitled to military funerals as per the extant Army Order of 1967, in vogue,” the Indian Military had stated.
With inputs from companies