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Assam activist triggers outrage by claiming army jawans “aren’t martyrs”

GUWAHATI: Political activist from Assam Sikha Sarma has stirred up a controversy with a “slight” towards the armed forces a day after Assam lost two of its sons — inspector Dilip Kumar Das and constable Bablu Rabha — in the attack by Maoists in Chhattisgarh.

Taking to Facebook, Sarma told the media to not make the people ’emotional’: “Persons who take salaries and die aren’t martyrs. If that is the case, electricity department workers who die of electrocution would also be branded as martyrs. Do not make the people emotional, media.”

Sarma’s post has triggered outrage on social media, with netizens demanding strict action against her.

“But death of an army connected directly to the service to protect the country and hence I think there is difference between the ASEB employee and an army,” reasoned user Abdul Rahim, reacting to her statement, while another user Nitul Kalita said, “This is utter nonsense, you may abuse the politicians or whoever you want but spare the defence personals at least. According to ur logic, gallantry awards are meaningless?”

Asked by InsideNE what she meant by her statement, Sarma said, “Proper discussions and deliberations have to be conducted to actually determine what I meant by that statement. To figure it out, one must first ask — what is the true meaning of the word martyr.”

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Meanwhile, InsideNE has received reports that the youth wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) intends to file an FIR against the political activist for triggering the outrage.

Inspector Dilip Kumar Das hailed from Bheragaon, Barpeta, while constable Bablu Rabha from Damra Patpara near Dudhnoi in Goalpara.

The encounter with the Naxals took place between Bijaur and Sukma districts, according to police sources.

Altogether twenty-two security personnel lost their lives in a fierce gunbattle with Naxals in Chhattisgarh on Sunday.

At least 400 Naxals suspected to be led by the most wanted Maoist commander and leader of the so-called ‘People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) battalion no 1 — Hidma — and his associate Sujatha ambushed the security forces in an area that is a strong-hold of the Maoists due to the difficult terrain, large tracts of forests and a smaller number of security forces camps.

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