2 TN jawans among 4 victims killed at Bathinda station firing

Four Army jawans were killed in firing inside a military station in Bathinda in Punjab early Wednesday, with the state police registering a case against two unidentified persons. The four personnel, in their mid 20s, were sleeping when the firing took place around 4:30 am in a barracks near the officers’ mess in the artillery unit. A jawan saw two unidentified men in white kurta-pyjama, their faces and heads covered, coming out of the barracks after the firing. One of them was carrying an INSAS rifle and the other an axe, the jawan said, according to the police FIR. According to “the information we have gathered so far, it is clear that it is not a terrorist act,” a senior police officer said. Initially, the police suggested that it was an incident of “fratricide”. However, officials later said there was no clarity on the incident yet. It is learnt that Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande briefed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on the matter. Army sources said a court of inquiry (CoI) will investigate the entire incident in addition to the ongoing probe by the state police with support from the force. It is suspected that an INSAS rifle, which was reported missing along with 28 rounds two days ago, was used in the firing incident. The Army said on Wednesday the INSAS rifle has been found. The two suspected attackers, who were of medium height, went towards a forested area near the barracks on seeing the jawan, who later reported the matter to the police.