Four Army jawans shot and killed while sleeping in a barrack at a military base in Punjab’s Bathinda on Wednesday morning have been identified as Gunners Sagar Banne (25), Kamalesh R (24), Yogeshkumar J (24) and Santosh M Nagaral (25).
Their families have been notified, according to a separate statement from the Army. The South-Western Command said there were no other injuries or property losses or damage, and that Army Chief General Manoj Pande had briefed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
The Army also stated that the incident occurred around 4.30 a.m. and that a thorough investigation has been ordered. According to Punjab Police officials, among other things, investigations will focus on an INSAS assault rifle and 28 bullets that went missing Monday.
According to Ajay Gandhi, the senior police official investigating the incident, 19 of the 28 missing bullets have been recovered (the rifle remains missing). Gandhi also stated that the perpetrators were most likely two civilians, and that a manhunt had been launched to apprehend them.
There are no details about the motive or any other circumstances surrounding the shooting at this time. There was no further exchange of fire after the initial burst, and the military base has been secured.
According to a senior Punjab Police official, the incident was one of ‘fratricide,’ and a terror attack angle had been ruled out. “We are in constant contact with authorities at the military station for an in-depth investigation,” said senior superintendent of police Gulneet Khurana, dismissing the terror connection.