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Former IAF chief explains compensation structure of Agniveers amid recent controversy | WATCH

Amid the ongoing controversy, former Indian Air Force (IAF) chief RKS Bhadauria clarified the process of settling ex-gratia payments to the family of a deceased Agniveer soldier, explaining that it takes time due to the comprehensive guidelines involved. scroll down to read in detail.

Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan New Delhi Updated on: July 11, 2024 7:10 IST
Former IAF chief RKS Bhadauria explains compensation structure of Agniveers
Image Source : PTI Former IAF chief and BJP leader RKS Bhadauria.

Former Indian Air Force (IAF) chief and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader RKS Bhadauria spoke in length about the process involved in settling ex-gratia payments to the families of deceased Agniveer soldiers. In a podcast interview with the news agency ANI, he explained that the comprehensive nature of the guidelines governing these compensations necessitates a timeframe of approximately two to three months to complete the process. Bhadauria outlined the various steps required to finalise the ex-gratia compensation, emphasising that while the process may seem lengthy, it ensures thoroughness and adherence to the stipulated procedures.

The former Air Force chief also said there is a process for ex-gratia and other amounts because if it is a battle casualty or physical casualty which is attributable, it is managed by the government and therefore it has to be established. "That process of establishment follows certain guidelines. The post-mortem report should come, all the incident reports, the court of inquiry, and the report from the police--these are the major elements. This process needs to be completed. It is no different in the case of a normal soldier or an Agniveer. It is the same," Bhadauria told ANI.

Prompt compensation for Agniveers' families

Regarding the timeframe for settling payments to the next of kin of deceased soldiers, Bhadauria explained that it usually takes two to three months due to the necessary inquiries involved. He refuted allegations that the families of Agniveers are kept uninformed about the compensation process, emphasizing that defence personnel in the unit are responsible for looking after the family and providing detailed explanations of the procedures involved. "Every unit takes great care. They are at pains to be in touch with the family. They are always in touch with the family and they explain at length," he said. 

Bhadauria also reasoned that due to the trauma experienced by the family of the deceased, a sense of "confusion" might arise. "You must imagine a family that has gone through this trauma. There are a lot of people interacting and advising. So it is that which leads to a sense of confusion to get created," he said. Bhadauria pointed out that, in the event of a soldier's death, a sizeable portion of the insurance amount is credited to the next of kin.

Financial guidance to deceased soldier's family

Bhadauria stressed that there is no confusion about the next of kin for the soldier, as they are clearly defined in advance. He also said that the deceased soldier's family is provided with financial guidance. "The next of kin is clearly defined. There is no confusion. The money can only go to the account of the next of kin. There is a lot of financial guidance given to the family, which many of the soldiers' families would need. This is also provided by the insurance company through our officers and men," he said. Sharing an attribute of the insurance payable to all enrolled under the Agnipath scheme, the Retired Air Chief Marshall said that unlike regular soldiers the Agniveers do not need to contribute any portion of their salary towards insurance and the entire amount is paid by the Government of India.

What was the controversy? 

Amid the ongoing controversy over the compensation for Agniveer Ajay Kumar's family, retired Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria has provided clarification. He noted that while part of the compensation has already been disbursed, the remaining amount will be settled once the required paperwork is completed. Bhadauria said that unless the police report comes through and it is settled that the case is "battle casualty" attributable, the ex-gratia cannot be paid from the central welfare fund. It should be noted here that Agniveer Ajay Kumar was tragically killed in a landmine blast near the Line of Control in the Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir. The confusion surrounding the financial compensation paid to his family has sparked a political dispute between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and opposition parties.

(With inputs from ANI)

ALSO READ: Indian Army's BIG retort after Rahul Gandhi alleges Agniveer's family not paid compensation




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