Agniveer Gawate Akshay Laxman, Siachen

 Agniveer Gawate Akshay Laxman who died in the service of the nation in Siachen on Saturday (October 21). Photo / PTI

Agniveer’s death: Army clarifies on financial aid to family after Rahul’s ‘insult’ charge

The Indian army clarified that the compensation to the next of kin is ‘governed by the relevant terms and conditions of service of the solider’

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Following questions by the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi about pension and other benefits due to the family of Agniveer Gawate Akshay Laxman who was killed in the service of the nation in Siachen, the Indian army on Sunday (October 22) clarified that the compensation to the next of kin is “governed by the relevant terms and conditions of service of the solider”.

The Additional Directorate General of Public Information, IHQ of MoD (Army) in a social media post expressed support for the bereaved family of Aginiveer Laxman and said “it was important to clarify the emoluments to the next of kin in view of conflicting messages on social media regarding financial assistance.”

The army said that the emoluments include a non-contributory insurance sum of ₹48 lakh, ex-gratia payment of ₹44 lakh, Seva Nidhi contribution from Agniveer (30%) and a matching contribution by the government, along with accrued interest. It also comprises the soldier's pay for the remaining tenure from the date of his demise until the completion of four years. This sum amounts to more than ₹13 Lakh in the current case.

The army further clarified that an additional contribution of ₹8 Lakh from the Armed Forces Battle Casualty Fund would be given to the next of kin, and the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) was extending financial assistance of ₹30,000 to provide immediate relief.

After Agniveer Laxman’s sad demise, Rahul Gandhi called Agniveer a scheme that had been devised to “insult” India’s bravehearts, and he said that no pension or other benefits were given to the families of Agniveers who died in the line of duty.

"A young man was martyred for the country - no gratuity, no other military facilities for his service, and no pension to his family in martyrdom. Agniveer is a plan to insult the heroes of India," Rahul said in a post on X.

This charge by the Congress leader was vehemently denied by the BJP, and the party’s IT cell head Amit Malviya said Rahul Gandhi’s charge “was absolute trash and irresponsible”.

"Agniveer Gawate Akshay Laxman has laid down his life in the course of service and therefore is entitled to emoluments as a Battle Casualty.

"Accordingly, Laxman's next of kin will receive the ₹48 lakh non contributory insurance, ex-gratia of ₹44 lakh, Seva Nidhi contributed by the Agniveer (30%), with an equal matching contribution by the Government, and interest thereon," Malviya said on X.

"So, stop peddling FakeNews. You are aspiring to be Prime Minister. Try and behave like one," continued Malviya.

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