Army jawan arrested in connection with killing of 4 soldiers at Bathinda military station

Chandigarh: The Police identified the arrested as Desai Mohan and said that he had some personal enmity with the four soldiers.

BY | Monday, 17 April, 2023

An Army jawan has been arrested for allegedly killing four soldiers at the Bathinda Military Station with a stolen assault rifle, an official said on Monday.

Gunner Desai Mohan had earlier claimed that he saw two men with a rifle and an axe near the site of the firing at the military base in Punjab. Later, he confessed to the killings, Bathinda Senior Superintendent of Police Gulneet Singh Khurana said.

Asked about the reason behind the killing, Khurana said that it cannot be disclosed before the media but Mohan had some personal enmity with the four soldiers.

On April 12, Mohan said he saw two unidentified men, their faces and heads covered with cloth, coming out of the barracks after the firing. However, he kept changing his statements, the SSP said.

After committing the crime, he concocted the story having seen two persons in ‘kurta-pyjama’, the officer said.

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In a statement, the Army said, “After sustained interrogation, one individual named Gunner Desai Mohan, from the artillery unit where the incident occurred has confessed to his involvement in stealing an INSAS rifle and killing four of his colleagues to the police,” the Army said.

The INSAS rifle along with 28 rounds of ammunition went missing from the base two days before the firing incident.

During the investigation, it became clear that an INSAS rifle and cartridges, which were stolen, were used in this incident, Khurana said.

He said in incidents in which an “internal weapon” is used, it raises suspicion that an insider could be involved.

“The statement made by the individual while filing the initial FIR on April 12, mentioning two persons in civil dress with INSAS rifle and axe was an attempt to divert attention of investigating agencies,” the Army said.

“Initial investigations indicate that this was apparently due to personal reasons/animosity,” the Army said in a statement.

“As per his confession, on early morning of April 9, he stole the weapon along with a filled magazine. He then hid the weapon,” the Army said.

Mohan then proceeded to throw the weapon into the sewage pit, it said.

The weapon and additional ammunition have been recovered from the sewage pit.

The Army reiterated that there is no terror angle in the case as speculated earlier in some media reports.

“Indian Army practises zero tolerance to such acts of indiscipline and is committed to ensure that the guilty will get punished as per law,” the Army said.

It said all possible assistance is being provided to Punjab Police and other agencies for early conclusion of investigations.

The accused jawan will be produced before a court here, SSP Khurana said.

The Bathinda military station is one of the largest Army bases in the country and comprises a significant number of operational units of the force.

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