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July 19, 1999
Mistaken identity: BSF jawans kill 3 of Indian Army
Mehboob Khan in Jammu
Three Indian Army personnel, including a captain, were killed and a jawan injured when a Border Security Force unit fired at them mistaking them for Pakistani infiltrators in Akhnoor sector of Jammu on the intervening night of July 16 and 17.
Inspector General of BSF (Jammu frontier) U C Chhabra said Captain Sanjeev Dahiya and three army jawans were on a routine patrol in the forward areas in Akhnoor sector when the BSF jawans mistook them to be Pakistani infiltrators trying to sneak into Indian territory.
The BSF jawans challenged them and when they got no response opened fire killing three of them on the spot and injuring one.
Earlier reports had said the army officer and two jawans were killed in firing from across the border.
Chhabra said that BSF Director General E Ram Mohan had ordered a high-level inquiry into the circumstances that led to the tragic incident.
However, high ranking defence sources in Jammu said that the incident was not a result of mistaken identity or any misunderstanding. ''The incident was a deliberate act of a (BSF) jawan who was caught sleeping at the naka post by the army patrol party,'' they said.
Giving details the sources said that an army patrol comprising four personnel, led by Captain Sanjeev Dahiya was on duty in the forward areas. When the patrol party approached the BSF naka they found the only BSF jawan on duty fast asleep.
Captain Dahiya woke him up and a heated argument ensued. Fearing that the captain would complain against him to senior officials, the BSF jawan opened fire when the army patrol was walking back.
Two jawans and Captain Dahiya were hit in their back and died on the spot, while another jawan sustained bullet injury in his leg. He hid in a nearby nullah.
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