An Army jawan shot dead five of his colleagues at point blank range when they were sleeping at a camp in Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir in the wee hours Thursday. He later turned the gun on himself.
A court of inquiry has been ordered into the incident, informed Lt Col NN Joshi, public relations officer at Army’s Srinagar-based 15 corps.
According to reports, the jawans belonged to 13 Rashtriya Rifles.
According to sources, the soldier, who was posted on sentry duty at the Safapora (Manasbal) camp, entered one of the barracks at around 2:00 AM and opened indiscriminate firing on his sleeping colleagues.
Incidents of fratricidal firing have been occurring in security forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir during the last 24 years.
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.