SRINAGAR: An army soldier shot dead five of his sleeping colleagues inside an army camp in north Kashmir early Thursday before ending his own life. This is the first incident of fratricidal killing among the security forces deployed to quell pro-independence insurgency in Kashmir this year.
Sepoy Ranveer of 4 Kumaon Regiment posted with counter-insurgency elite force, 13 Rashtriya Rifles at the Safapur camp in Mansbal went berserk at around 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 two more were injured.
The gun shots inside the camp sparked panic and most of the soldiers, taking it as a militant attack, ran for cover, a police official said.
Once firing ceased officers and jawans rushed towards the barrack only to see the bodies lying in pool of blood.
They immediately removed two injured jawans Army base hospital.
Besides the death of the assailant army jawan Ranvir Singh, the other five deceased army men 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.
Srinagar based Defense spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel N.N.Joshi said that it is not yet clear what sparked off the incident.
Court of inquiry has been ordered to establish the facts. Everything will be clear once inquiry will be completed, he said. Officials said that statements of the duo who were injured in the incident would be of vital importance to know reasons underlying the incident.
Sources, however said that the soldier went berserk as he had an heated argument with his comrades before he left the camp to guard a nearby post. Sources said Ranvir had a verbal brawl with his colleagues hours before he went on the killing spree.
Meanwhile, police has also registered a case and ordered an investigation in the fratricide. Early morning medical teams were rushed to the camp to carry out post-mortem on the bodies.