Soldier kills 5 colleagues, self in Kashmir's Safapora area

In yet another fratricidal incident, a trooper shot dead his five colleagues before shooting himself with his service weapon in an Army camp in Safapora area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district on the intervening night of February 26 and 27.

Sources told Deccan Herald that sepoy Ranveer of 4 Kumaon posted with counter insurgency force 13 Rashtriya Rifles at Safapora camp in Mansbal, 25 kms from here, went berserk in the early hours of Thursday after heated argument with his colleagues, who came from different army units. “After the heated argument the angry trooper opened indiscriminate fire upon his colleagues killing five of them on the spot and injuring another.

The soldier later shot himself dead,” they said.

But according to police sources, the soldier, who was posted on sentry duty at the camp, entered one of the barracks at around 2 am and opened indiscriminate firing on his sleeping colleagues.

The slain troopers were 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 rifleman Rajput Joni of 278 Field Regiment.

Srinagar-based defence spokesman Lieutenant Colonel N N Joshi confirmed one of the army men ran amok and fired indiscriminately at his colleagues inside 13-Rashtriya Rifles camp. “Five soldiers died on the spot and one was injured. The army man later shot himself dead using his service rifle,” he said.

“Even though the real cause of the incident was not immediately known, a high level inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the facts,” he said and added a colonel level officer has been nominated to head the inquiry and submit its report.

A senior army officer who declined to be identified said initial investigations suggested the shooter was under stress. “The gun shots inside the camp created panic among soldiers and most of the soldiers taking it as a militant attack ran for cover,” he said, adding that all the soldiers including officers ran towards the barrack, once they came to know about the incident.

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