A clipping of a newspaper report is viral on social media with the claim that an young man who couldn’t make it into the Indian Army took his life after the announcement of the Agnipath scheme by the Central government.
Since the announcement of the new defence recruitment scheme, there have been violent protests against it in several states. The reform mandates the recruitment of 45,000 to 50,000 soldiers annually. Out of the total annual recruits, 75 per cent will retire from the service after four years, and the remaining 25 per cent will be allowed to continue for another fifteen years under permanent commission.
We have verified that the viral newspaper report is unrelated to the Agnipath scheme. It dates back to April.
The newspaper clipping is in circulation with the caption: “With this Agneepath Scheme, dreams of Lakhs of aspirants aiming to join Indian Army gets killed. #ModiMustResign #Agniveer #अग्निवीर #ModiMustResign #Agneepath”
The English translation of the Hindi title in the newspaper clipping reads: “Father, I could not become a soldier in this life, but I’ll surely become one in my next.”
With the clues available in the news clipping, we searched for the report using keywords which led to an article published on the Hindi website Today Haryana.
The article published on 29 April 2022 carries the image of the news clipping. It also says a 23 years old army aspirant, Pawan from Bhawani, Haryana took his life after several failed attempts to enrol in Army.
We then found several news reports which reported the same. In an article published in India Today on 1 May 2022, Police found in the preliminary investigation that Pawan had appeared in three army recruitment drives and cleared the written, physical and medical examinations. However, he could not make it to the final cut-off.
Taking all these cues, we searched for the e-paper version of the news clipping and found it published by Dainik Bhaskar on 29 April 2022.
Therefore, it is evident from the findings that the incident reported in the news clipping took place in April and is unrelated to the currently announced Agnipath scheme.