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Infighting in army in Samba, Antony seeks report

Source: PTI
August 09, 2012 15:40 IST
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In yet another instance of friction in an army unit, jawans and officers of an armoured unit were allegedly involved in a face off after a soldier committed suicide on Wednesday in the Samba district in Jammu and Kashmir.

This is the second such incident in the last four months when officers and jawans have locked horns. In Nyoma in Ladakh, a commanding officer, two majors and two jawans were grievously injured in clashes in May after alleged ill treatment of soldiers.

Taking exception to the incident, Defence Minister A K Antony has sought a detailed report from Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh who is touring Western Command, under which the incident has taken place, sources said.

The army has ordered a Court of Inquiry under a senior officer into the matter. The army CoI into the Nyoma incident, which was a "much more" serious breach of discipline and failure of command and control, has not yet been completed, they said.

The incident happened after a jawan of 16th cavalry regiment, Arun V, hailing from Thiruvananthapuram, committed suicide with his service weapon after which the army ordered a CoI.

The sources said the jawan was allegedly facing some issues back home and had asked for leave, which was denied by officers. After his death, the jawan's fellow soldiers protested against the officers and surrounded their residences.

They said there was tension in the unit and additional troops have been rushed to the area to prevent any further escalation.

The army's Yol-based 9 Corps Commander Lt General A K Bhalla has been sent to the area to bring the situation under control and all officers of the 16th Cavalry have been moved out of their units.               

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