Aam Aadmi Party MP Raghav Chadha lashed out at the Centre after an Agniveer jawan was not accorded a guard of honour during his funeral. Agniveer Amritpal Singh died in Jammu and Kashmir on October 11 when he accidentally discharged his service weapon.
“Shame on the central government that doesn’t honour martyrs. Merely taking photos and distributing sweets on Diwali doesn’t suffice,” Mr Chadha said.
“If we truly want to honour soldiers, they should be given a dignified farewell with full military honours after their martyrdom. If genuine respect is to be shown, pensions and compensation for their families should not be discontinued under the disguise of cost-cutting. Instead, it demands standing with their families during their moments of sorrow,” he added.
Amritpal Singh, who was serving with a battalion of Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, was cremated on Friday at his native village in Punjab’s Mansa district.
The Army called the death “an unfortunate incident” in a statement and said that Agniveer Amritpal Singh died while on sentry duty in Rajouri Sector due to a self-inflicted gunshot injury. A court of inquiry to ascertain more details is in progress, it said.
A junior commissioned officer and four others brought the jawan’s body from J&K to his village in a civil ambulance hired by the unit of the Agniveer, the statement said, adding that accompanying army personnel also attended the last rites.
The Army, in its statement, defended its decision to not give a guard of honour to the jawan and said: “The cause of death being a self-inflicted injury, no guard of honour or military funeral was provided, in accordance with the existing policy.”
Earlier, on Saturday, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had said his government would raise a strong objection with the Centre over the matter.