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Chhattisgarh: Maoists kill army jawan to protest against Agniveer scheme

The Maoists allegedly mistook an army soldier for being member of paramilitary force and attacked him.

An army jawan, Moti Ram Anchla was gun down by Maoists in at the Useli village fair market, Bastar, Chhattisgarh, on February 25. He was on leave at his home town of Kanker.

The Maoists of the Kuwemari area committee claimed responsibility, stating it was done in retaliation for the central government’s Agniveer project.

In the midst of the ongoing investigation into the tragedy, a banner bearing the words “We killed Army jawan Motilal Anchla to protest Agniveer scheme” was found in the forests of Amabeda on Fufgaon.

The police said, that the discovery of the banner opened them fresh avenues for their inquiry.

It was the first instance, according to authorities, in which Maoists allegedly mistaken an army soldier for a member of a paramilitary force and attacked him.

The banner read, “Anchla was killed by our cadres in the Useli fair as a protest against Agniveer scheme, encouraging corporate houses for industrialization in Bastar and security forces. We protest against Agniveer recruitment in Army.”

Sundarraj Pattilingam, the inspector general of police for Bastar Range informed, that the Maoists have made a banner taking responsibility for the murder. The probe is in its early stages, he added.

Earlier, banned terror organisation PFI had opposed the Agnipath scheme claiming it was a scheme for ‘Muslim genocide’. In a charge sheet filed by the ATS, the authorities had stated that anti-Agnipath/Agniveer propaganda was being used by the PFI to mobilise Muslims against Indian State. The Agnipath scheme was likened to “Satan Israel like policy” where in every corner of the country, Hindus with army training would form groups. “This would be an army of rioters, who, because of their army training, would not run away if push comes to shove”, the message said.

In 2022, the government of India proposed Agnipath scheme to make the youth of India defence ready especially those who dream of joining the Indian armed forces. As per the scheme, selected candidates will be enrolled for four year period for training and will be known as ‘Agniveers’. After four year period, they could leave and join career of their own choice. 25% of these would also get opportunity to become regular cadre in Armed Forces.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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