Agniveer Amritpal Singh, who was serving with a battalion of the Army’s Jammu and Kashmir Rifles unit in the Poonch sector died on October 11. His last rites were held on October 13 at his native village in Punjab’s Mansa district.
A video of the last rites being conducted by the family of Singh has gone viral on Twitter (X), drawing sharp comments and criticism from veterans and the public on how Agniveers are not getting the honor given to regular soldiers. Now several people are questioning the Indian Army why it hasn’t Amritpal has been given a guard of honor.
Finally, the Indian Army made an official statement on the matter, stating that “the Armed Forces accord due respect along with deep and enduring empathy with the family” for unfortunate incidents of death arising out of suicide or self-inflicted harm, irrespective of the manner of entry.
According to the current Army Order of 1967, however, such situations are not entitled to military funerals. According to the official statement, the policy has been adhered to without any discrimination ever since.
21-year-old Amritpal Singh was serving with J&K Rifles and was found dead with a gunshot wound to his head within the unit on October 10. As per sources, Amritpal died of a self-inflicted gunshot injury.
His father, Gurpreet Singh, said his son was in high spirits. As per Singh’s father, he visited his village after completing his training in September. He also said Amritapl told him that he has applied for leave from October 24 and that he will come home for a wedding in the family.
Amritpal Singh’s father told the media that they were unaware of the circumstances of his death and were seeking a thorough investigation. The mortal remains of the deceased, accompanied by one Junior Commissioned Officer and four other ranks, were transported in a civil ambulance hired by the Agniveer unit.
Soldiers Suicide Ratio in India
“As per data held, there has been an average yearly loss ranging between 100-140 soldiers since 2001 where deaths occurred due to suicides/self-inflicted injuries, and military funeral in such cases was not accorded,” the Army said.
The junior defense minister informed parliament that there were seven deaths in the Army, two in the Air Force, and none in the Navy between 2016 and 2020, based on official data released in February 2020.
Defense personnel labor under tremendous pressure, which frequently has an adverse effect on their mental health. This is the main cause of these suicides. In order to address that, a mental health program that prioritizes stress management for individuals at high risk was introduced in 2009.