A few days ago, the tragic demise of Agniveer Amritpal Singh in Rajouri sent shockwaves across the nation. However, amid the sorrow and grief, certain political influencers and opposition parties attempted to exploit the situation, spreading misleading information to serve their political narratives.
It all began with a misleading narrative, claiming that Agniveer Amritpal Singh was martyred serving the Indian border in Jammu & Kashmir and was denied a military guard of honour. Some prominent political figures, opposition parties, and social media influencers, with a wide reach, joined this false chorus. The misinformation was disseminated by individuals and entities, including @Politics_2022_, @ColRohitChaudry, @ColAmitkumar, @INCIndia, @GDnarbhakshi, and @imharshchhikara.
They lamented the lack of proper tribute, pension, or respect for the young martyr. It was alleged that his body did not arrive draped in the tricolour, and no one extended a salute. The story continued with claims of two soldiers arriving in civilian attire and a private ambulance. They questioned the government’s policy, claiming that Amritpal Singh was not accorded martyr status.
The Truth Behind Amritpal Singh’s Demise
The official Twitter account of the 16 Corps, White Knight Corps of the Indian Army, provided clarification on the incident, stating that Agniveer Amritpal Singh tragically died while on sentry duty in the Rajouri Sector due to a self-inflicted gunshot injury. A Court of Inquiry was initiated to gather more details about the incident. The deceased soldier’s remains were transported to his native place, accompanied by an Army escort. The existing policy regarding such incidents was followed, which does not entail a guard of honour or a military funeral in cases of self-inflicted injuries.
In a subsequent tweet on October 15, 2023, the Indian Army’s official Twitter account further clarified the matter, addressing the misunderstanding and misrepresentation of facts. It confirmed that Agniveer Amritpal Singh had committed suicide by shooting himself while on sentry duty. The armed forces treat all such cases with respect and empathy, regardless of the type of entry into the military. The policy of not according to military funerals in cases of suicide or self-inflicted injuries has been consistent since 1967. Financial assistance and immediate relief for funerals are provided according to entitlement.
The Agniveer Scheme
The Agniveer Scheme, introduced in 2022, is a transformative recruitment policy of the Indian Army. It recruits soldiers known as Agniveers, aged 17.5 to 23 years, for a four-year period. Their service includes six months of training followed by 3.5 years of deployment. After completing this tenure, Agniveers are rewarded with a one-time payment called the “Seva Nidhi” package, amounting to Rs 11.71 Lakh. The top 25% of Agniveers can obtain permanent status, based on their performance.
This initiative aims to offer more young individuals the opportunity to serve in the Defense Services, creating a selection of high-quality Agniveer soldiers. During their four-year engagement, Agniveers receive an attractive monthly package. The Agniveer Scheme also provides the option for employment in various sectors after the four-year engagement. It significantly enhances the youthful and technically adept profile of the Armed Forces.
The false narrative surrounding Agniveer Amritpal Singh’s demise aimed to manipulate public sentiment and mislead people. The facts, as revealed by the Indian Army, clearly state that his death was a result of self-inflicted injury while on sentry duty. The military protocol in such cases was duly followed.
The Agniveer Scheme is a groundbreaking recruitment policy that enables more young individuals to serve in the Defense Services and balances the profile of the Armed Forces. It is essential to differentiate between fact and misinformation, especially in sensitive matters like the sacrifice of a soldier. Following a precise analysis and fact-checking, our team has reviewed the claim. You can refer to the findings of this inquiry in the Twitter thread below.
Claim: Agniveer Amritpal Singh was martyred serving the Indian border in J&K and his funerals didn’t receive any military honours.
Fact: Agniveer Amritpal Singh died due to a self-inflicted gunshot injury while on sentry duty in Rajouri. The Indian Army followed existing policies, and thus no military guard of honour or funeral was provided in accordance with the circumstances.