Three Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) constables were killed and one critically injured in the first fratricidal shootout of the year in the paramilitary force in Kashmir, police said on Sunday.
Police have lodged a case and arrested six CRPF personnel for the firing which occurred around 10.40pm on Saturday inside a barrack of the 18 Battalion in Kulgam town, about 75 km south of Srinagar. All four were working as drivers in the force.
“It seems an altercation broke out between some CRPF personnel in the camp, and they opened fire at each other,” said Kulgam superintendent of police Maqsood-u-Zaman.
Police identified the deceased as Suman Pillay, P Sibbu and Javaid Husain. The injured constable, SD Murthy, is battling for life at a hospital in Srinagar. It was not immediately clear if one or more shooters were responsible for the deaths.
The Kulgam shootout is the first incident of fratricidal killing in the CRPF in Kashmir since October 2009, when a constable had killed two colleagues in Anantnag district.
According to official statistics, fratricidal killings and suicides among security forces including the army in Kashmir have declined due to steps taken to reduce stress levels.
The decline came after the defence ministry accepted a majority of the recommendations of a committee led by Dr Manas Kumar Mandal, director of the Defence Institute of Psychological Research, in 2007.
The committee had observed discontentment over leave was a root cause of fratricidal killings. A defence official said liberal grant of leave, yoga classes and counselling were some of the measures adopted to beat stress among security forces.