Army jawan died hoping to earn Rs 350 from launcher shells

It was the lure of earning a measly Rs 350 that led to an Army jawan losing his life as he tried to hammer clean a rocket launcher shell to sell it as scrap to a junk dealer.

Matoshi, a jawan attached with the Assam Rifles, was blown to pieces as he tried to extract copper from one of the 10 shells that he had brought to sell at a scarp dealer's shop in the civil area of the Ferozepur cantonment on Thursday.

The scrap dealers — there are four shops in the area — requesting anonymity said that the jawan had been visiting their shops for the last four days trying to convince them to buy the junk.

On Thursday, he tried to convince the attendant at a shop to buy the shells and to prove that the shells were harmless he started hammering the spent ammunition to extract copper, DSP Vibhor Sharma said.

"One such shell yields nearly 100-150 gms copper. The 10 shells that he had bought, would have yielded little more than a kilo of the metal earning him Rs 350," Sharma added.

Meanwhile, a bomb disposal squad destroyed the remaining shells on Friday morning even as army authorities claimed that the spent ammunition was not from Ferozepur Cantonment, but from Rajasthan putting a question mark as to how Matoshi was able to get the shells.

An identity card found near the dead body helped the police identify the deceased, the DSP said, adding that the Army authorties have not yet given them details about the launcher shells.

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