Samba mutiny: Army takes action against 60 soldiers

The Army has taken action against 60 personnel including eight officers for their involvement in fomenting a mutiny-like situation in an army camp in Samba district in Jammu and Kashmir last August.

While the services of five soldiers (other ranks) have been terminated, disciplinary action has been initiated against 7 army personnel comprising 4 officers and 3 junior commissioned officers, reliable sources told Deccan Herald.

If sufficient evidence is found against these seven personnel, court martial procedure may be initiated against them.

Administrative action impacting career progression would be taken against 9 persons – 4 officers and 5 JCO – while 39 soldiers were posted out of the unit.

Though the exact details on the chain of action leading to friction between officers and soldiers are still kept under wraps, it was apparently triggered by the suicide of Arun V, a soldier from 16th light cavalry unit who hailed from Thiruvananthapuram. He shot himself with the service weapon soon after receiving a phone call from his home.

Soon after his death, his colleagues staged noisy protests and surrounded the officers, who allegedly did not allow Arun to go back to his home for sorting out his domestic problems. His leave was refused on the ground that he came back from a leave three months ago.

There is, however, no confirmation on the sequence of events. The identity of the Brigadier rank officer in Western Command, who presided over the court of inquiry, has also not been disclosed.

With tempers running high in the Army camp in the wake of Arun's suicide, Lt Gen A K Bhalla, commander of Yol-based 9 Corps and other senior officers rushed to the spot to defuse the tension. The senior officers temporarily segregated the officers and agitating jawans, spoke to them separately and restore normalcy.

The outcome of another court of inquiry on a more serious strife between soldiers and officers in Nyoma in Leh has not been made public so far though the CoI is over.

The incident occurred in May, 2012 when officers and soldiers from the 226 field regiment clashed after a batman was severely beaten by a young officer who prevented other soldiers to carry their injured colleague to the medical room for treatment.

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