Soldier kills 4 colleagues in Kashmir

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    Soldier kills 4 colleagues in Kashmir
    India - 29 april 2011

    ANANTNAG: A jawan given a public dressing down by his senior a few days ago went berserk and killed a junior commissioned officer and three troopers on Thursday in Punjpora, making it one of the worst instances of fratricide within the security forces.

    Rashtriya Rifles soldier Abhay Kumar, mocked for the upbraiding, screamed expletives before opening fire with his AK-47, said a police source.

    "It seems Kumar was publicly disciplined recently. Other jawans taunted him over this. Today, he lost his temper and fired, wanting to kill his senior as well. But he was overpowered," said the source.

    The horror of the incident hung over the 42 Rashtriya Rifle camp all day with soldiers on guard looking shell-shocked. Thursday's incident comes after two years of clean record as far as fragging is concerned. Between 2002 and 2008, the Army had lost almost as many men fighting militants as to fragging, with 25 soldiers killed in 2006 and 30 in 2008.

    Most internal Army studies concluded that it was a combination of high stress in insurgency-hit areas and lack of interaction with their officers. In many instances, the jawans fired at colleagues or their superiors on being denied leave.

    Stung by the disastrous affect of fratricide on soldiers' morale and the Army's image as a disciplined force, the top brass announced a series of measures in 2008 to tackle the problem. Increased leaves, rest and recreation camps and counsellors to help soldiers facing family problems helped. In the last two years, there was no such killing.

    It isn't just bad press that 42 RR will have to worry about. "This effectively knocks out 42 RR as an effective fighting force for a few months. The court of inquiries, the investigations to locate what led to this, will be the main focus, as will be restoring morale. Things like this are difficult to deal with," said a former Army man.



    Source: The Times of India
     
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