Clerics issue appeal asking Muslim youths to apply for Agnipath Scheme

As the process for selection under Agnipath scheme began amid apprehension that Muslims may be denied appointment in the armed forces, clerics have urged the Muslim youths to apply for recruitment

(Representative Photo/PTI file photo)
(Representative Photo/PTI file photo)

NH Correspondent/Lucknow

As the process for selection under the Agnipath scheme began amid protests and amid apprehension that Muslims may be denied appointment in the armed forces, the clerics have urged the Muslim youths to apply for recruitment under this scheme.

The appeal was made from the mosques in parts of Uttar Pradesh just before the Friday prayers.

The Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP), a body active in promoting education among Muslims, has roped in Muslim clerics for the initiative. Not only this, the AMP and imams are using social media to encourage Muslim youths to join the Indian armed forces through the Agnipath scheme.

The clerics even shared details about the scheme stressing that those who have passed Class 10 and 12 examinations could apply for this.

Shahid Kamran Khan, office-bearers of the AMP said that if Muslims join this scheme they will stand benefitted in many ways as it will give them an opportunity to serve the country.

Another cleric, Maulana Khairuddin, said he had shared the details of the Agnipath scheme on social media asking people to seek more details from the portal --

A similar appeal was issued by Qari Idrees, a cleric at a mosque in Chaubeypur in Kanpur.

Maulana Meraj Ashrafi, Imam of Nanpara Masjid of Yatim Khana Square, said that the Agnipath scheme will not only employ the children at an early age, maybe for four years but also open a vista of opportunities for them after they are decommissioned.

Sunni Ulema Council General Secretary Haji Mohammad Salis said that the Ulema Council has appealed to all the Ulema to explain its benefits to Muslim children.

The registration process begins on June 24. On the first day, 3800 youth filled the form. The online examination for recruitment would be held on July 25. The age of candidates should be between 17.6 years and 23 years.

Even as clerics and associations like AMP have initiated a process to cajole Muslim youth to apply for Agnipath, a section of Muslims believe that they would not be given a chance to join the army because of their religion.

“There is an apprehension among Muslims that the youths of this community will not be selected under the Agniveer scheme because of Modi. The BJP, and RSS want that Muslims should not get government jobs and therefore they use all the opportunities to deny Muslim youths decent government jobs,” Mohammed Naseer, a trader said.

Phurkan Ali, a Muslim leader said that Muslim clerics are issuing appeals but will have no impact on the youth. “They know that this government is partisan to Muslims,” he said.

The Agnipath scheme is a new initiative introduced by the Government of India on June 14, 2022, for the recruitment of soldiers below the rank of commissioned officers into the three services of the armed forces. The recruits will serve for a tenure of four years which includes training for six months followed by 3.5 years of deployment.

After retirement from the service, they will have the opportunity to apply to continue in the armed forces, and up to 25% of the Agniveers will be selected for the permanent cadre. Personnel who retire after 4 years of service will not be eligible for a pension but will receive a lump sum amount of approximately ₹11.71 lakh at the end of tenure.

There were protests over the scheme after the defence ministry announced a one-time waiver for the upper-age limit of the recruits from 21 to 23.

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