Army jawan cleans launcher shells to sell as scrap, killed as one explodes

An Army jawan was killed in a blast on Thursday when one the 15 rocket launcher shells that he had allegedly brought to sell to a scrap dealer in the civil area of Ferozepur cantonment exploded as he hammered it to convince the shopkeeper that it was junk ammunition, police said.

"Such was the intensity of the blast that the Army jawan, identified as Matushi from Assam Rifles, was blown to pieces," Senior Superintendent of Police, Ferozepur, Varinderpal Singh said.

"The man was wearing olive green uniform and his socks were also of the same colour," added Vibhor Sharma, DSP Ferozepur Cantonment.

The Army officials, however, said they are waiting for the police to complete the probe into the incident.

As per the police, the Army Jawan had brought 15 old rocket launcher shells to the junk shop located close to cantonment area but the dealer, Manjit Singh, refused to buy them.

"He was trying to convince the dealer to buy the scrap shells, but the latter refused. The jawan remained adamant saying the shells were old and defused and there were no explosives inside them. In a bid to prove his point, he went at the back of the shop and started to hammer the shells to show that they contained no explosives. However, one of the shells went off killing him at the spot," the DSP said.

The dealer was saved as he was not standing close to the spot when the scrap seller was hammering the shells, the DSP said, adding that the police was also investigating into as to where the Jawan procured the shells from.

Meanwhile, the Army called for a bomb disposal squad from Jalandhar cantonment to diffuse the rest the shells, but they were yet to arrive till the time of filing this report. The road where accident occurred was sealed by the Army for public.

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