Dozens killed in such incidents since 1990
Srinagar, Mar 24: After a scuffle between two troopers inside a CRPF camp, angry troopers fired at each other, as a result both died on spot here in Kashmir capital Srinagar on Tuesday.
The incident occurred inside the camp of 144 water wing battalion of Para-military Forces in Dal Lake.
Neeraj Rathore, Central Reserve Police Force Spokesperson told KNT that before firing at each other, the slain trooper had a heated exchange of argument. Both aimed their service rifles on one another and in the fit of rage, both fired, thus ending their lives. “The matter will be investigated and a team has been constituted in this regard,” he said terming this fratricidal incident very unfortunate.
He identified the slain troopers as Constable Siju and Constable Jala Vijay. Top police and CRPF officers rushed to the spot after the incident.
This Reporter who visited the spot tried to know from the troopers the real cause of the incident. A trooper said the slain men were good friends and he is shocked over the incident. Another said he was inside and the victims were discussing something in the lawn.
Fratricidal killings are not new in Kashmir. These incidents often result of adverse working conditions, long working hours and denial of leave.
In 2011, three jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) pertaining to 18th Battalion were killed when some irate jawans opened fire at each other in a camp in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district. One jawan S.D.Murthy was critically injured in the shootout. The three jawans who lost their life in the fratricide incident were later identified as Head Constables Suman Pillay and P Sibbu and Javid Hussain.
In the same year, a BSF trooper Head Constable P K Hanjak of 2nd battalion allegedly fired from point blank range on his colleague Susheel Kumar outside Airforce Station Awnatipora, in south Kashmir causing his on spot death. The incident had occurred after a scuffle between the two troopers.
In 2011, April, an enraged army trooper shot dead four of his colleagues including Junior Commissioned Officer inside heavily-guarded camp near Panzgam village in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Another trooper was also injured in the shooting incident before the jawan was overpowered and disarmed.
In May 2013, a Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) trooper, Vijay Kumar, opened fire from his service rifle on his colleagues sleeping in a camp in Police LIne Kishtwar resulting in the death of two soldiers who were later identified as Narinder Singh and Veer Singh. Two soldiers were also injured in that fratricide incident whom the police identified as Ravinder Nath and Habib-ul-Islam.
In the same year in another case of fratricide, Sepoy Ritender opened fired on his fellow colleague Sepoy Mukesh Tiwari at Rashtriya Rifles Unit in border belt of Kala in Noushera sector of the distric Rajouri killing him on spot.
In yet another fratricide incident in April 2013 In a case of fratricide, a soldier Satish Kumar shot dead a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) identified as Rajinder Singh inside an army camp in Larnoo Kokernag.
On the night of July 18, 2017, following an altercation, an army soldier pumped five bullets into Major Shikhar Thapa of the 71 Armoured Regiment close to the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri sector. Thapa had pulled up the soldier for using a mobile phone while on duty, which triggered the fratricide incident resulting in the major’s death.
In March 2019, three CRPF personnel were killed in a case of ‘fratricide’ inside a camp in Jammu.
There have been several incidents of fratricidal shootouts and suicides among government forces in Jammu and Kashmir since armed violence broke out here in 1990.
Continued deployment under hostile conditions, separation from families, and lack of recreational facilities are among the factors believed to cause such incidents among security forces.
To address the problem, authorities have taken several steps, including improved recreational avenues, frequent leaves to troops to join their families and a better command and control structure. They had even constituted an expert group of psychiatrists under the Defence Institute of Psychological Research in order to suggest remedial measures to prevent suicide and fratricide incidents. (KNT)