Agnipath: Candidates Must Give Written Pledge They Didn’t Take Part In Violent Protests

New Delhi: Violent protests across the country notwithstanding, the Agnipath scheme will definitely be implemented and there is no question of a rollback, a top Army official said on Sunday.

Lt Gen Arun Puri, Additional Secretary, Department of Military Affairs, who was closely involved with the formulation of the policy, said that aspirants will have to give a written pledge they did not participate in violent protests against the plan.

“The Indian Army’s foundation lies in discipline. There’s no space for arson or vandalism. All candidates will have to give a written pledge they did not indulge in any arson or violence. Police verification is mandatory, no one can join without it,” said Lt Gen Puri while addressing a press conference.

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A day after Agnipath was announced by the service chiefs and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, protests broke out in Bihar on Wednesday. The agitation spread to more states and took a violent turn a day later.

The main grievance of youths interested in a career in the Army is that after working for four years, 25% of Agniveers will be retained for full service, while the remaining 75% will be relieved.

Multiple concessions and offers were later announced for those who are released after four years, including 10% reservation in posts under the Union Home and Defence ministries.

However, the protesting youths are yet to be fully convinced that the government can secure their future.

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