In a shocking incident, an army major was shot dead late last night allegedly by a jawan following a dispute at a post near Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to a NDTV report, the police said that Major Shikhar Thapa of 8 Rashtriya Rifles, posted at Buchar post in Uri sector, was shot dead when he scolded Naik Kathiresan G for using his mobile phone on duty in a sensitive area. When the phone was snatched from him, the jawan allegedly shot Major Thapa five times, killing him instantly.
Major Thapa belonged to the 71 Armoured Regiment but was attached to 8 Rashtriya Rifles, the army’s elite counter-insurgency unit posted in Uri, where 19 soldiers were killed in an attack by militants in September 2016.
The police have lodged an FIR and have started investigating the incident. The murder is being called a case of fratricide, which means the killing of a fellow soldier or superior.
Experts attribute multiple reasons for fratricidal killing among members of the armed forces deployed in conflict zones. These include low morale among soldiers leading to stress, poor service conditions and inadequacy of leave to go home.
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“The Army has devised several methods to reduce stress levels including rationalising grant of leave, improving senior-sub-ordinate relationships, psycho-analysis of soldiers and reducing duty periods in inhospitable conditions,” stated a Deccan Herald report
In March this year, minister of state for defence Subhash Bhamre said that there were three cases of fratricide reported from the three defense services last year. His response came while replying to a question in the Lok Sabha.