Applicants for Agnipath must prove that they did not participate in arson or protests: Military leadership

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New Delhi: As protests against the Centre’s new recruitment policy for Armed Forces spread across the country, the Military leadership said that the applicants for the Agnipath scheme have to pledge that they did not take part in any arson or agitation against the scheme.

“The Indian Army’s foundation is discipline. There is no space for arson and vandalism. Every individual applying for the Agnipath scheme will have to give a certificate that they were not part of protests or vandalism. Police verification is 100 per cent necessary and no one can join without that,” Lt General Anil Puri, the Additional Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs, said while addressing a press conference .

He added: “If any FIR is lodged against them, they can’t join… They (aspirants) will be asked to write as part of the enrollment form that they were not part of the arson and their police verification will be done.”

The statement was made when a defence tri-service briefing on Sunday looked to clear doubts about the new military recruitment scheme and explained why the country needs this policy for mass entry to the armed forces.

“We had lengthy discussions on how to make our forces young. We studied foreign forces too. We want young people. Youth are risk takers, they have passion. In them, josh and hosh are in equal proportions,” Lt General Puri said.

Lieutenant General C Bansi Ponnappa said the rallies for army recruitment will start in the first half of August and the first lot of “Agniveers” will come in by December first week. The second lot will come by February. The senior officer said that the Army will hold 83 recruitment rallies and touch “every village” in the country. For the navy, the first lot of “Agniveers” will reach INS Chilka in Odisha for training by November 21.

The air force will enroll the first batch of “Agniveers” by December this year and training will begin the same month.

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