Soldier shoots dead five colleagues, kills self in Safapora

SRINAGAR:An army soldier shot dead five of his sleeping colleagues inside an army camp in central Kashmir early Thursday before ending his own life. This is the first incident of fratricidal killing among the security forces in Kashmir this year.

Sepoy Ranveer of 4 Kumaon Regiment posted with counter-insurgency elite force, 13 Rashtriya Rifles at the Safapora camp in Mansbal went berserk at arround 2. a.m Thursday. He had reportedly had a heated argument with his colleagues the previous night.

According to reports, the soldier, who was posted on sentry duty at the camp, entered one of the barracks at around 2:00 a.m and opened indiscriminate firing on his sleeping colleagues.

Five of them died instantly while one was injured.

The slain soldiers have been identified as Amit Kumar of 12 Kumaon, Lance Naik Tabruq Ansari of 278 Field Regiment, Sepoy Surinder Singh of 2 Kumaon, Rifleman M R Ajinath of 36 Medical Regiment and Rifle Man Rajput Joni of 278 Field Regiment.

Army spokesperson Lt Col NN Joshi confirming the incident said an army court of inquiry will investigate the deaths.

A colonel rank officer has been nominated to head the inquiry and submit its report, he said.

Army and paramilitary troops posted in Kashmir and other 'disturbed' areas of the country have often complained about adverse working conditions. Factors like long working hours and denial of leave are often blamed for soldiers going berserk.

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