Armyman shoots five colleagues, kills himself later

Ganderbal, (Jammu and Kashmir), Feb. 27: An Army soldier shot dead five colleagues before killing himself on Thursday, in what appeared to be a case of stress-related violence in a force dogged by a staffing crunch.

One of the Army men ran amok and fired indiscriminately at his colleagues inside an army camp at Safa Pora, said army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel N.N. Joshi.

Doctor Shafad Ahmed, who conducted post-mortem, said preliminary report was submitted.

“There were multiple injuries. There were six persons with multiple firearm injuries. Preliminary report, we have given to them. We have done the post-mortem and final report will be given later. This time we gave the preliminary report,” he said.

The armed forces struggle to fill thousands of vacancies mainly due to difficult conditions and the high risks involved, according to the Defense Ministry.

Joshi said the army has ordered an inquiry. A senior army officer who declined to be identified said initial investigations suggested the shooter was under stress.

The shooting comes a day after the country’s navy chief quit after taking responsibility for a string of operational incidents, the latest of which saw smoke sweep a submarine with two officers still missing. A dockside blast in Mumbai killed all 18 aboard another submarine in August.

There were 635 cases of suicide or attempted suicide in the armed forces from 2003 to 2007, all “attributable to increased stress environment leading to psychological imbalance in the soldiers”, a parliamentary committee said in a 2010 report. (ANI)