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Bathinda Military Station Firing: What Does the FIR Say About Mystery Attackers?

Four jawans were killed on the morning of 12 April at the Bathinda military station.

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Nearly 20 hours since the firing at the military station in Bathinda that killed four army jawans, there is still no clarity over who was behind the attack and where the killers are.

Speaking to Press Trust of India a few hours after the attack, Additional Director General of the Punjab Police SPS Parmar said "It is not a terrorist attack, it is not an attack from outside. It is a fratricidal incident".

What Does the FIR Say?

An FIR has been registered by the Punjab Police based on the statement of Major Ashutosh Shukla.

Here’s what the FIR says (translated from Punjabi):

"I am posted in above mentioned unit as a major in since February 2022. Our unit Commandant is Colonel KS Bhatti. The Officers’ Mess of our unit is located before the DAD gate on the main road towards Bibiwala Chowk. There is a barrack for Jawans opposite the Officers’ Mess. Guards and Jawans working in the Officers’ mess live within the premises."

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"Gunner Naga Suresh lives in the room below the guards’ barracks. In rooms above, Gunner Sagar Banne and Gunner Yogesh Kumar live in one room and in the adjacent room, Gunner Santosh and Gunner Kamlesh.

The other jawans live in the other building and do two-hour long night duties without weapons.

Last night, all jawans went back to their rooms post-duty. Yogesh Kumar and Sagar Banne went to their room on 1st floor, with Santosh and Kamlesh in the adjacent room and Naga Suresh in the room below; all of them were sleeping.

Today at 4:30 a.m. Gunner Desai Mohan told me that firing took place inside unit mess barrack and two unidentified persons wearing white kurta pyjama with their faces covered (masked), were seen coming out of the barracks opposite the mess in which the gunners were sleeping.

Out of the two unidentified persons, one of them was carrying the INSAS rifle in his right hand and the other was carrying an axe. They were healthy and of medium built height.
Major Ashutosh Shukla

They looked towards me and escaped towards the jungle at the left side of the barracks, after which me and Capt. Santanu reached the spot where the incident took place.

When we went to the first floor of the building, we saw the blood-soaked bodies of Gunner Sagar Banne and Yogesh Kumar. In the other room we also saw Santosh and Kamlesh’s bodies soaked in blood.

On inspection, we saw bullet wounds on their bodies and a lot of empty cartridges of INSAS rifle next to their bodies; the cartridges are affirmatively from INSAS rifle, which was rifle Butt No. 77 dated 31-3-2023, and was issued in the name of Lance Naik Mupdi Haris from our unit and had informed about the rifle being missing on 9-4-2023. The investigation on this is underway.

After finding empty cartridges from the place of incident, at the moment it appears that the missing rifle seems to have been used by the unidentified person/persons to kill four jawans of our unit.

Our unit is also conducting a search operation of the unidentified person/persons; legal proceedings should be undertaken against the unidentified persons.

The statement written and heard is correct."

The Punjab Police says that a case has been registered against unknown individuals under Section 302 (murder) and Section 25/54/59 of the Arms Act.

(With inputs from Quint Hindi)

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