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Missing Rifle Found Hours After Four Indian Army Soldiers Killed

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 12, Apr 2023, 19:30 pm IST | UPDATED: 12, Apr 2023, 19:31 pm IST

Missing Rifle Found Hours After Four Indian Army Soldiers Killed

New Delhi: An INSAS rifle that was reported missing at the Bhatinda Military Station where four soldiers were killed in a firing incident on Wednesday morning has been found, the Army said. It was suspected that the missing rifle was used in the firing incident.

"A search team has located the INSAS rifle along with the magazine. Army and police joint teams will now be undertaking forensic analysis of the weapon for ascertaining further details, the Army's South Western Command said.

The balance number of rounds in the weapon will only be available after forensic analysis. The joint investigation with Punjab Police is in progress," it said.

After the firing incident, the South Western Command said in a statement that all aspects, including the possible case of involvement of an INSAS rifle along with 28 rounds reported missing two days back, are being ascertained.

The Army said no individual has been detained or apprehended for the killing.

All possible assistance is being provided to the police, it said.

Four personnel of an Army artillery unit were killed in a firing incident at the Bathinda military station in Punjab early Wednesday. The Punjab Police, which is investigating the matter along with their military counterparts, said according to the information gathered so far, the incident was not a terrorist act.

The four personnel, in their mid-20s, were sleeping when the firing took place around 4:30 am near the barracks behind a mess.

It is learnt that Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande briefed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on the matter.

Bathinda Superintendent of Police (Detective) Ajay Gandhi, who headed the police investigation, told reporters that 19 empty shells of INSAS rifle were found from the spot.

Quoting an Army jawan, Gandhi said two people in civilian clothes opened fire.

He said the slain jawans were identified as Sagar Banne (25), Kamalesh R (24), Yogesh Kumar J (24) and Santosh M Nagaral (25).

He said CCTV footage is being scanned and the Army is conducting a cordon-and-search operation and the entire area has been sanitized.

When asked if it could be a fratricidal incident, Gandhi said, "investigations are on".