An army jawan of Rashtriya Rifles shot dead five of his colleagues at point blank range whilst they were sleeping after their duty hours and then turned the gun on himself , on Wednesday night in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, a army spokesperson revealed on Thursday.
“A soldier of a Rashtriya Rifles unit ran amok in the wee hours, killing five soldier before killing himself,” said Lt Col NN Joshi, public relations officer at army’s Srinagar-based 15 corps.
Joshi said that a court of inquiry has been ordered into the incident. He said the incident took place during the intervening night of Feb 26-27 inside the Safapora (Manasbal) camp in the district, 35 km from Srinagar.
The soldier, who was posted on sentry duty at the camp, entered one of the barracks at around 2:00am and started firing indiscriminatly on his sleeping colleagues, according to PTI.
A soldier was also left injured in the firing before the jawan went on to shoot himself, said PTI quoting sources.
Incidents of fratricidal firing have often been reported in Jammu and Kashmir during the last 24 years.
Army and paramilitary troops posted in Kashmir and other “disturbed” areas of the country have often complained about adverse working conditions leading to stress level for troops being very high.
These incidents are attributed to built-up tensions among soldiers doing their duties in extremely hostile conditions, long periods of separation from families, lack of recreational facilities and poor command and control structure.
Counsellors have suggested various measures to address the problem.
These suggestions include periodic holiday to troopers so that they can join their families, recreational facilities at places of posting and an effective command and control structure.
(With PTI and IANS inputs)