Soldiers, officers clash, but Army denies mutiny

Soldiers, officers clash, but Army denies mutiny

 Death of a soldier in an infantry unit in Arunachal Pradesh led to a scuffle between a group of soldiers and Army officers.

A scuffle is a highly unusual occurrence in the disciplined armed forces. In the latest incident, at least one Captain-ranked officer sustained injuries. The Army top brass, however, underplayed the confrontation, refusing to describe it as a mutiny. A probe has been ordered to find out how the soldier died and what led to the confrontation between the soldiers and officers.

The incident happened in a unit of 8 J&K Rifles on May 13. When sent on a 10-km route march in a treacherous terrain, a soldier complained of chest pain. After examination, the medical officer of the unit found him fit, following which the commanding officer asked him to join the patrol. During the route march, the soldier collapsed and later died.

“Some jawans (4-5) got emotional over the death and when being consoled by the adjutant, indulged in agitated behaviour, leading to a minor scuffle. No one was injured seriously. It is not a case of any mutiny,” said a statement from the Army.

The case is being investigated as is the practice for all deaths during the training.
Sources, however, pointed out that the death led to a skirmish between the soldiers and the officers in the unit.

The Arunachal scuffle comes as a reminder of similar incidents of confrontation between soldiers and officers in Nyoma and Samba in Jammu and Kashmir and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh. While the Army took strong actions against the soldiers and officers in the Nyoma case following a court martial procedure, the decisions have been challenged in the civilian court. Actions were also taken in the Samba and Meerut cases where soldiers took on the officers.

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