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At Least 1 Jawan Injured in Rajouri Army Camp, Reports Say Major Responsible

The Jammu-based White Knight Corps (16 Corps) said that an officer was injured in a “likely grenade accident”.
File photo. Tactical demonstration of Operation Pawan by an Indian Army contingent. Photo: Twitter/ @adgpi

Srinagar: Mystery continues to surround a “rare incident” at an Army camp in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir in which at least one officer is confirmed to have suffered injuries on Thursday, October 5.

According to officials and sources, the incident took place at the Army’s 48 Rashtriya Rifles based in Thanamandi area of Rajouri, which is one of the units involved in counterinsurgency operations in the volatile Pir Panjal region of Jammu division.

In a tweet, the Jammu-based White Knight Corps (16 Corps) said that an officer was injured in a “likely grenade accident”. “Officer evacuated and stable post initial treatment. Further investigation of the incident in progress,” it said on X.

The Jammu-based defence spokesperson, Lt Col Suneel Bartwal, didn’t confirm details of the incident. “I don’t have any update on the incident so far,” he told The Wire, adding that the details “will be shared soon”.

Reports, however, said that at least two officers were injured in the incident. A major-ranked officer is believed to have first opened fire at the soldiers due to unknown reasons, causing mayhem inside the camp.

“The regimental medical officer rushed to the spot after the firing began and they were targeted by the major with grenades,” reports said.

Some reports suggested that the attack on the officers boiled down into a hostage situation at the Army camp. There are also reports that the accused major hurled grenades at the officers before taking some soldiers hostage. However, the Army didn’t confirm these reports.

Senior officials of the Army and other security agencies rushed to the Army camp soon after the incident took place at around 6 pm on Thursday. “The accused has been caught and he has been disarmed,” reports said.

The Hindustan Times, quoting four officials with knowledge of the incident, reported that the major opened fire and lobbed grenades at soldiers, which resulted in injuries to “few of them”.

“The officer responsible for the unfortunate incident was dealing with some personal issues. The injured soldiers were rushed to hospital,” the report said.

According to an NDTV report, at least six soldiers, including two officers, were injured in the incident. The report was, however, pulled down by the news website later without explanation.

Earlier in the day, the defence spokesperson rebutted reports of a “terrorist attack” on the Army camp in Rajouri. “I would like to inform you that no terrorist attack has occured (sic). It is an unfortunate internal incident of the camp. I would also request you to not publish it or provide any coverage to this incident as it gives (a) negative image of Indian Army and also is demoralising for the troops,” the spokesperson said.

Over the last two years, the strategic Pir Panjal region, which comprises Rajouri, Poonch and parts of Reasi districts of Jammu division, has recorded a significant uptick in insurgency-related violence.

The Army has borne the brunt of the escalating violence, with close to two dozen soldiers killed by militants in ambush-style attacks besides several civilians since 2021.

This year, two major attacks have been reported on the Army in Rajouri and Poonch districts of Pir Panjal region in which at least ten soldiers were killed and one officer was injured.

The latest incident comes two days after three Army soldiers were wounded in an encounter with militants in Rajouri district which falls on the Line of Control between India and Pakistan and has emerged as a new hotspot of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.

A major counterinsurgency operation is underway over the last three days amid intelligence inputs that a group of militants were hiding in Kalakote area of Rajouri district. However, after the initial shooting in which three soldiers were wounded, there has been no fresh exchange of fire.

The incidents of fratricide in the Army, which are mostly linked to stressful working conditions, are not new in Jammu and Kashmir.

In July last year, two Army soldiers were killed and two others suffered injuries in a fratricidal incident in an army camp at Surankote in the neighbouring Poonch district.

In 2014, an Army soldier posted in 13 Rashtriya Rifles located in Ganderbal district went berserk, killing five soldiers before turning the gun on himself, in one of the worst incidents of fratricide reported in the Army in Kashmir.

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