Soldier shoots five colleagues dead, kills self

Soldier shoots five colleagues dead, kills self

A trooper shot dead five of his colleagues and then turned the gun on himself in north's Kashmir Ganderbal district, sources said Thursday. An inquiry into the incident has been ordered.

Police sources told IANS that an angry trooper of the Rashtriya Rifles went berserk inside the Safapora (Manasbal) camp in the district, 35 km from here, following a heated argument with his colleagues.

"He resorted to indiscriminate firing resulting in the death of five Rashtriya Rifles troopers."After the firing, the irate trooper shot and killed himself," police said.

Lt. Col. N.N. Joshi, public relations officer at Army's Srinagar-based 15 corps, told IANS that a court of inquiry has been ordered into the incident. He said the incident took place during the night intervening Feb 26-27.

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.

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