News Brief

Indian Army Rebuts Rahul Gandhi's Controversial Accusations On Agnipath Scheme Amid Soldier's Tragic Death

Swarajya Staff

Oct 23, 2023, 11:22 AM | Updated 11:33 AM IST

Agniveer Gawate Akshay Laxman, who died at Siachen. (Picture via X @RahulGandhi)
Agniveer Gawate Akshay Laxman, who died at Siachen. (Picture via X @RahulGandhi)

The Indian Army rebutted the claims of Rahul Gandhi clarifying the financial support extended to the family of Agniveer Gawate Akshay Laxman, a soldier who tragically lost his life while serving in Siachen, the world's highest battlefield.

This rebuttal came in response to a recent controversy on social media started by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi when he tweeted about the financial assistance provided to the soldier's next of kin in the Agnipath scheme.

The Indian Army clarified that the emoluments offered to the family are governed by the relevant terms and conditions of the soldier's service.

These emoluments encompass a non-contributory insurance sum of Rs 48 lakh, an ex-gratia payment of Rs 44 lakh, Seva Nidhi contributions from Agniveer (30 per cent) with a corresponding government contribution and accrued interest.

Additionally, it includes the soldier's pay for the remaining tenure from the date of their demise until the completion of four years, which, in the current case, amounts to more than Rs 13 lakh.

Furthermore, an additional contribution of Rs 8 lakh from the Armed Forces Battle Casualty Fund will be provided to the next of kin. For immediate relief, the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) is offering financial assistance of Rs 30,000.

This was issued by the Additional Directorate General of Public Information, IHQ of MoD (Army), on social media platform X, in response to the need to provide accurate information, given the discrepancies and debates on social media regarding the financial aid provided to the family.

Rahul Gandhi stated that Agniveer scheme is aimed at disrespecting India's brave soldiers. He alleged that no pensions or other benefits were granted to the families of Agniveers after their martyrdom, a claim refuted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Gandhi expressed his condolences to the family of Agniveer Gawate Akshay Laxman, who had tragically passed away while serving in Siachen, and stated, "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."

Amit Malviya, BJP's IT cell head, strongly rejected these allegations as "absolute trash and irresponsible".

Malviya clarified that Agniveer Gawate Akshay Laxman, having laid down his life in the line of duty, is entitled to emoluments as a battle casualty.

He highlighted the specifics of the financial support to be provided to the soldier's next of kin, including the non-contributory insurance, ex-gratia, Seva Nidhi contributions, the soldier's pay, and the contribution from the Armed Forces Battle Casualty Fund.

Malviya urged Gandhi not to spread false information and called on political figures to uphold the dignity of their positions.

Get Swarajya in your inbox.