CHANDIGARH — Four soldiers from an artillery unit have been killed in a firing incident at the Bathinda Military Station in Punjab early on Wednesday morning.
“A firing incident reported in the early hours of the morning around 4.35 am inside the Bathinda Military Station. Station Quick Reaction Teams were activated. Area was cordoned off and sealed,” a senior officer said.
According to sources, the incident took place in the premises of the unit’s officers’ mess. Initial reports point the incident to be a case of fratricide. Sources said an INSAS rifle from the unit and 28 rounds of ammunition had gone missing from the unit premises two days ago.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Police have called it a ‘fratricidal incident’.
Punjab’s Additional Director General of Police, SPS Parmar, said, “It is not a terrorist attack, it is not an attack from outside. It is a fratricidal incident”. The Punjab Police will also be part of the investigations into the incident.
A search operation is under way to apprehend the perpetrator and a high alert has been sounded. Besides the Ministry of Defence and Army Headquarters, the police and sister agencies have also been intimated about the incident.
Bathinda is an important military installation and houses the headquarters of 10 Corps, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Jaipur-based South Western Command.
The station is also home to a large number of operational Army units and other static establishments.
“A court of inquiry will investigate the entire matter to establish the facts of the case and fix responsibility,” an officer said.
Apart from the four soldiers, there has been no other casualty in the incident nor any damage or loss to property, the Army said.