Agniveer dies in Siachen Glacier, Army pays tribute

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An Agniveer, a soldier recruited under India’s Agnipath scheme, died in the line of duty in Siachen, the world’s highest battlefield, on Sunday. The Army’s Leh-headquartered Fire and Fury Corps said that the soldier, Agniveer Gawate Akshay Laxman, hailed from Maharashtra.

Army Chief General Manoj Pande and all ranks of the Army have condoled the death of the soldier.

The Siachen glacier, located at a height of around 20,000 feet in the Karakoram range, is known as the highest militarised zone in the world. Soldiers have to battle extreme cold and high winds in this unforgiving environment.

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“Quartered in snow silent to remain, when the bugle calls they shall rise and march again,” the Fire and Fury Corps said in a tweet.

“All ranks of Fire and Fury Corps salute the supreme sacrifice of #Agniveer (Operator) Gawate Akshay Laxman, in the line of duty, in the unforgiving heights of #Siachen and offer deepest condolences to the family,” it said.

Military sources said that the terms of engagement of Agniveers include emoluments in case of demise as a battle casualty. Accordingly, the next of kin of a deceased battle casualty Agniveer will receive Rs 48 lakh as non-contributory insurance as well as an ex-gratia of Rs 44 lakh.

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Separately, the next of kin will also get an amount from the Seva Nidhi contributed by the Agniveer (30 per cent), with equal matching contribution by the government and interest there on.

The next of kin will also receive pay for the balance tenure from date of death, till completion of four years (more than Rs 13 lakh) as per balance residual tenure, the sources said.

The family of the deceased will also receive a contribution of Rs 8 lakh from the Armed Forces Battle Casualty Fund, the sources said.

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The death of Agniveer Gawate Akshay Laxman is a reminder of the sacrifices that our soldiers make to protect our nation. He will be remembered for his courage and dedication to duty.

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