Saturday, July 13, 2024

Fact-Check: Who is lying about Angniveer Ajay Kumar’s Compensation? Rahul Gandhi or GOI?

On July 3, Rahul Gandhi posted a video on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), accusing the Defence Minister of lying to Parliament.



A recent controversy has sparked over the compensation provided to the family of Ajay Kumar, an Agniveer who tragically lost his life in a landmine explosion in Jammu and Kashmir on January 18. The debate began when Congress MP Rahul Gandhi criticized the Agniveer scheme, leading to a swift rebuttal from Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. At the heart of the dispute is whether the government is misrepresenting an insurance payout as official compensation.

The Claims

Rahul Gandhi’s Allegation

On July 1, during the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address in Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi criticized the Agnipath scheme, calling it a “use and throw” policy. He argued that the scheme unfairly differentiates between permanent soldiers and Agniveers regarding entitlements upon death. Gandhi highlighted the case of Ajay Kumar, suggesting that his family received no compensation from the central government.

Rajnath Singh’s Response

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh countered Gandhi’s claims, stating that the government provides a compensation of Rs 1 crore to the families of Agniveers who die in the line of duty. Singh’s statement led to demands from the treasury benches for Gandhi to apologize for allegedly misleading Parliament.

Social Media and Further Developments

On July 3, Rahul Gandhi posted a video on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), accusing the Defence Minister of lying to Parliament. The video included a clip of Ajay Kumar’s father stating that the Punjab government had provided some financial aid, but the central government had not given them any money. In response, the Indian Army clarified that the family had already received Rs 98.39 lakhs, with an additional Rs 67 lakhs to be paid after police verification, bringing the total to approximately Rs 1.65 crore.

Reality Check

The Indian Army reaffirmed its commitment to honoring the sacrifices of its soldiers amidst the growing political controversy. According to a recent statement from the Army’s Additional Directorate General of Public Information (ADGPI), Agniveer Ajay Kumar’s family has already received Rs 98.39 lakhs as part of the ex-gratia and other benefits.

An additional sum of approximately Rs 67 lakhs is slated for disbursement following the final account settlement, pending police verification. This brings the total compensation to around Rs 1.65 crore, adhering to the provisions of the Agniveer Scheme.

Official Statement

The Indian Army emphasized its dedication to expeditiously paying emoluments due to the next of kin of fallen soldiers, including Agniveers. “The Indian Army salutes the supreme sacrifice made by Agniveer Ajay Kumar. The last rites were carried out with full Military Honours. Of the total amount due, the family of Agniveer Ajay has already been paid Rs 98.39 lakhs,” ADGPI stated in a post on X.

“Ex-gratia and other benefits amounting to approximately Rs 67 lakhs, as applicable according to the provisions of the Agniveer Scheme, will be paid on Final Account Settlement shortly post-due police verification. The total amount will be Rs 1.65 Cr approximately. It is re-emphasised that emoluments due to a fallen hero are paid expeditiously to the Next of Kin of departed soldiers, including Agniveers,” the statement added.

Summary Table

DetailAmount (Rs)
Already Paid98.39 lakhs
Pending (Post Police Verification)67 lakhs
Total Compensation1.65 crore

The Indian Army continues to uphold its commitment to supporting the families of soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the nation, ensuring they receive the benefits they are entitled to under the Agniveer Scheme.

The Indian Bugle
The Indian Bugle
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