Amid the rising demands for the scrapping of the newly launched Agnipath recruitment scheme for the military, a senior Army officer on Sunday clarified that the programme will not be rolled back and said that it is the “only progressive step to make the country young”.
Addressing a joint press briefing with the officers from the Indian Navy and Air Force, Lt General Anil Puri, additional secretary, department of military affairs, ministry of defence, said that a number of casualties are reported just for health purposes from high-altitude areas.
“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.
The announcement of the officer came after the violent protests broke out in some parts of the country wherein incidents like stone-pelting and setting trains on fire were reported.
The officer informed in connection with the violence that the aspirants willing to join the forces will have to give a certificate that “they were not part of protest or vandalism” with 100 per cent police verification.
“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.
He said that the individual against whom an FIR is lodged would not be allowed to join the forces.
“And if any FIR lodged against them, they can’t join…They (aspirants) will be asked to write as part of the enrolment form that they were not part of the arson, their police verification will be done,” Lt Gen Puri said.