Monday, June, 24,2024

Bathinda military station firing: Army jawan killed 4 soldiers over "personal enmity," says Punjab Police

Bathinda: Punjab Police on Monday said that a preliminary investigation into the April 12 incident at the Bhatinda Military Station indicated that the gunner who shot dead four jawans in their sleep did so due to "personal enmity."
Addressing a press conference here, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Bathinda, Gulneet Khurana said that the Army gunner had on "sustained interrogation" confessed to stealing an INSAS rifle and to killing four of his colleagues. "After sustained interrogation, we found that one weapon has been stolen and that was used to kill the jawans. Later, one individual from the Artillery unit was detained and during interrogation, he confessed to the Police his involvement in stealing an INSAS rifle and killing four of his colleagues. Initial investigations indicate that this was due to personal enmity," said SSP Bathinda.
The police official said that further investigation will be conducted in the case after taking remand of the accused. The SSP also said no other individual's involvement has been detected till now.
The Indian Army in a statement today said that gunner Desai Mohan, from the Artillery unit, where the incident occurred has confessed to police to his involvement in stealing an INSAS rifle and killing four of his colleagues.
South Western Command Headquarters, Indian Army stated that initial investigations indicated that personal reasons or animosity could be reasons for the shooting.
As per his confession to police, the Army said that Mohan had stolen the weapon along with a filled magazine in the early morning hours of April 9 and hid it somewhere. On April 12, at around 4.30 am while he was on sentry duty, he moved to the first floor and killed all four personnel while they were asleep.
Mohan then threw the rifle into a sewage pit. The weapon and additional ammunition have been recovered from the sewage pit, said the Army statement.
In the initial FIR filed on April 12, the Army gunner had falsely stated that he had seen two people in civilian dress and wearing face masks carrying the INSAS rifle and axe coming out of the barracks and running towards the jungle on the morning of the shooting incident. This statement was an attempt by Desai Mohan to divert the attention of investigating agencies, the Army said.
Mohan is currently in police custody and further details are being ascertained.
"There is no terror angle as speculated earlier in some media reports," said the statement by the South Western Command Headquarters of the Indian Army.
"Indian Army practices zero tolerance to such acts of indiscipline and is committed to ensure that the guilty will get punished as per law. All possible assistance is being provided to Punjab Police and other agencies for the early conclusion of investigations," said the Army statement.
Four Army jawans were found in a pool of blood in their barracks at the Bhatinda military station in the early hours of April 12. The jawans had succumbed to gunshot injuries. According to the Army statement, no other injuries to personnel or damage to property have been reported in the incident.
The Army said an INSAS rifle along with 28 rounds were reportedly missing for the past two days. Following the incident, the area was cordoned off and the army conducted a joint investigation with the Punjab Police to establish the facts of the case.
Meanwhile Bhatinda Police on Thursday said that one Army jawan died of a gunshot wound after his service weapon went off accidentally adding that there seemed to be no connection with the Bathinda military station killings a day ago. (ANI)

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