Soldier shoots 5 colleagues dead, commits suicide in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Feb 27: In the first fratricide incident of this year, an army soldier on Thursday shot five colleagues dead at point blank range when they were sleeping before committing suicide in Kashmir's Ganderbal district.

"A soldier of a Rashtriya Rifles unit ran amok in the wee hours, gunning down five soldier before killing himself," an army spokesman said. The incident took place inside the army camp of 13 Rashtriya Rifles at Safapora. A court of inquiry has been ordered into the incident, he said.

According to sources, sepoy Ranbir Singh, who was posted on sentry duty at the camp, entered one of the barracks at around 2.00 AM and opened indiscriminate firing on his sleeping colleagues. After killing two colleagues in one barrack, Singh entered another barrack to kill three more, the sources said.

Another solider sustained injuries in Singh's firing, who ended his life by shooting himself under the chin. Doctors, who conducted the post mortem, said two deceased jawans bore the brunt of Singh's anger as more than a dozen bullet injuries were found on their bodies.

The other three jawans were hit three to four times each, they said. Although the Army officials are tight-lipped about the incident, sources said the gruesome manner in which the killings were carried out pointed to personal grudge against someone among the victims.

The sources ruled out denial of leave as a possible reason for the act as 4-day leave was sanctioned in favour of Singh by his superior officer. This is the first incident of fratricide among security forces in Jammu and Kashmir this year. A JCO was shot dead by a jawan in south Kashmir Kokernag area in October last year.

PTI

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