An Agniveer – Gawate Akshay Laxman who hailed from Maharashtra – has died in the prime of his youth – in the line of duty in Siachen. He hailed from Pimpalgaon Sarai village in Buldhana taluk; having served in the army for just nine months, he took his last breath in the cold and bleak confines of Siachen; according to one media report, he died because of a heart attack on the night of October 20, at around 11.30 pm. His last rites are scheduled to be held in his hometown.
Agniveer Laxman is survived by his family, including his parents and a younger sister. At a height of 20,000 feet in the Karakoram Range, Siachen is the highest militarised zone in the world, where soldiers have to battle frostbite and stinging blizzards.
"Quartered in snow silent to remain, when the bugle calls they shall rise and march again," the Fire and Fury Corps said on 'X'. "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," the statement added.
Military sources said the terms of engagement of Agniveers include emolument in case of demise as a battle casualty. Accordingly, the next of kin of a deceased of a battle casualty will receive Rs 48 lakh as noncontributory insurance as well as an ex gratia of Rs 44 Lakh. 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 remaining tenure from date of death, till completion of four years (more than Rs 13 lakh), 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 mortal remains of Agniveer, Gawate Akshay Laxman, were brought to his residence in Pimpalgaon Sarai village of Buldhana district on Monday (October 23).