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Business News/ News / Indian Army says Agniveer Amritpal Singh denied Guard of Honour as per policy, Punjab CM Mann to raise objections
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Indian Army says Agniveer Amritpal Singh denied Guard of Honour as per policy, Punjab CM Mann to raise objections

No Guard of Honour for Agniveer Amritpal Singh. The White Knight Corps of the Indian Army, however, said that since the cause of death was a self-inflicted injury, no guard of honour or military funeral was provided, in accordance with the existing policy.

Agniveer Amritpal Singh's final rites were conducted on Friday, October 13, in his native village in PunjabPremium
Agniveer Amritpal Singh's final rites were conducted on Friday, October 13, in his native village in Punjab

Agniveer recruit Amritpal Singh, from Punjab, died by suicide on October 11 while on sentry duty in the Rajouri sector of Jammu and Kashmir. However, he was not given an Army Guard of Honour at his last rites.

Singh served with a battalion of Jammu and Kashmir Rifles in the Poonch sector and was cremated on Friday at his native village in Punjab's Mansa district without an Army Guard of Honour. Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and opposition parties in Punjab have expressed shock over the omission.

Why Agniveer Amritpal Singh was not given Guard of Honour?

The White Knight Corps said that since the cause of death was self-inflicted, no guard of honor or military funeral was provided, in accordance with existing policy.

The Indian Army offered its deepest condolences to the bereaved family.

The Army also added that a court of inquiry would be held to ascertain more details about his death, which is currently in progress.

"In an unfortunate incident, Agniveer Amritpal Singh died while on sentry duty in the Rajouri Sector due to a self-inflicted gunshot injury," the White Knight Corps said in a post on Twitter.

Punjab CM to raise objections against Centre

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said his government would raise a strong objection with the Centre over the denial of a guard of honour to Agniveer Amritpal Singh, who died by suicide while on sentry duty in the Rajouri sector of Jammu and Kashmir on October 11.

In a post on Twitter, the Punjab CM wrote:

Whatever may be the Army's policy regarding the martyrdom of Shaheed Amritpal Singh, but the Punjab government's policy will remain the same as for every martyr. Shaheed Amritpal Singh is a martyr of the country. A strong objection will also be raised with the Central Government.

The Chief Minister also said the state government would give 1 crore compensation to the family of the killed Agniveer jawan as per the state's policy. The Chief Minister said the Centre may adopt any policy towards the country's soldiers, but his government is committed to honoring the families of such "sons of soil."

Opposition reaction on No Guard of Honour for Agniveer Amritpal Singh

Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Partap Singh Bajwa said he was shocked to learn that no army guard of honour was given during the cremation of Amritpal Singh, the first martyred Agniveer from the Mansa district of Punjab.

"It was quite shocking to learn that no army guard of honour was given during the cremation of the first martyred Agniveer from the Mansa district of Punjab Amritpal Singh (21). Didn't he lay down his life for the country?" Bajwa said in a post on Twitter.

Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said she was shocked to learn that Singh was cremated without an army guard of honor. She sought intervention from Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, seeking necessary directions to accord military honors to all martyred soldiers.

Taking to Twitter, she wrote:

Shocked to learn that Agniveer Amritpal Singh, who was martyred in the line of duty in Poonch in J&K, was cremated without an army guard of honor and even his body was brought to his native village in Mansa in a private ambulance by his family! It is learned that this happened because Amritpal was an Agniveer. We must accord due respect to all our soldiers. Request Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to issue directions to accord military honors to all martyred soldiers.

Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring questioned whether Agniveers' lives don't matter.

"This is a sad day for our country as this (soldier) who was recruited under the Agnipath scheme was sent back home in a private ambulance and not given any guard of honour by the @adgpi."

"Does being an Agniveer mean that their lives don't matter as much?" he asked.

What is Agniveer Scheme?

The Agnipath Scheme was announced on June 14, 2022, for the recruitment of soldiers into the armed forces. The soldiers recruited under this scheme are known as Agniveers.

Under the scheme, the three services are recruiting youths between the ages of 17.5 and 23 years for four years, with a provision to retain 25% of them for 15 more years.

(With inputs from PTI, ANI)

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Published: 15 Oct 2023, 10:04 AM IST
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