A defence spokesman said that the Indian Army at Banihal displayed exemplary service and swift action during a road blockade near Banihal due to landslide, stone shooting and heavy snowfall.
At least five Army personnel, including three officers, were reportedly injured last night when another officer hurled grenades and opened fire at them in a forward camp along the Line of Control (LOC) in the Thanamandi area of Rajouri district.
Reports said condition of two injured officers was critical. The injured officers have been evacuated to the military hospital.
Among the critically injured was the commanding officer of the unit, second-in-command and medical officer.
The Army has initiated an inquiry into the incident.
The unfortunate incident happened in the 48 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) that is deployed to check infiltration of terrorists.
It is learnt that the turmoil began when an officer of major rank suddenly opened fire on his colleagues during a routine shooting practice session. The officer took refuge within the unit’s armory and hurled grenades at his superiors who approached the building in an effort to persuade him to surrender. The tense standoff persisted for nearly eight hours until the officer was finally overpowered within the armory.
To ensure the safety of the surrounding area, the Army prudently evacuated a nearby village.
However, the White Knight Corps of the Army stated that “On 05 Oct 23 one officer was injured in a likely grenade accident at a post in Rajouri sector. Officer evacuated and stable post initial treatment. Further investigation of the incident in progress”.
Sources said the camp had been conducting firing practice sessions for several days leading up to the distressing event and the accused officer’s actions seemed entirely unprovoked. Subsequently, he took cover inside the camp’s armory where he allegedly took two jawans hostage and initiated grenade attacks when the commanding officer, accompanied by his deputy and the medical officer, approached in an attempt to negotiate his surrender.
All three officers sustained injuries when one of the grenades detonated in close proximity to them, with the second-in-command of the unit reportedly in critical condition. In the indiscriminate firing that ensued, two additional soldiers also suffered injuries. The accused officer was eventually made to surrender around 11 pm.
Jammu-based defense PRO Lt Colonel Suneel Bartwal clarified, “I have received calls about some firing/terrorist attack on the army camp in General Area Rajouri. I would like to inform you that no terrorist attack has occurred; it is an unfortunate internal incident of the camp.”