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Army clash: Artillery unit sent home from China border

UNI  New Delhi , May 12, 2012
First Published: 20:46 IST(12/5/2012) | Last Updated: 17:43 IST(13/5/2012)

Alarmed over breakdown of discipline in an artillery unit of Army as evidenced by officer-jawan clash which left four soldiers, including the unit's Commanding Officer(CO), wounded, the unit located at Nyoma in eastern Ladakh near China border has been ordered to pack up and go home to its original location, Army sources said here on Saturday.


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The sources told UNI that "the entire unit is moving back to its original location and persons involved in the clash on Thursday night will be made available to the court of inquiry as and when needed".

However,no soldier has been detained as yet in the case, said a source.

There are conflicting versions of what happened during a firing exercise by the unit but the sources confirmed that all the four wounded soldiers, including the CO of the rank of Colonel, were hospitalised at the nearby field hospital of the Army.

Army headquarter has submitted a preliminary report of the clash to the Defence Ministry, detailing sequence of events and reasons behind 'the brawl'.

Initially, the Army had dismissed the clash a "minor scuffle" but soon it realized the seriousness of the matter when details started unfolding in the media.

Army chief general VK Singh personally apprised Defence Minister AK Antony of the incident and a court of inquiry was instituted within hours of the violent clash between the officers and jawans during which the CO, too, got wounded when he tried to calm the situation.

It is said officers and jawans fought a pitched battle for nearly two hours on Thursday night.

Though the Army has rubbished the media reports about the clash as 'baseless', only the court of inquiry will come out with the truth.

Facing intense heat over the Nyoma incident involving army officers and jawans, the Army categorically denied on Saturday evening that it was a mutiny within the ranks and said at worst it could be dubbed an "act of indiscipline".

An Army spokesman said the incident at the Mahe Field Ranges camp in Ladakh region during a firing exercise by artillery regiment can in no way be termed as mutiny. "The entire episode can at worst be seen as an isolated act of indiscipline."

A senior army officer told UNI that no arms and ammunition were used by anyone. The armoury has not been captured by the troops as is being wrongly reported in a section of the media.
"Nobody has been removed, dismissed or suspended."

The Army statement said, Colonel P Kadam, the Commanding Officer, was not assaulted by other officers. The CO as well as Major AK Sharma and Sepoy Suman Ghosh, who suffered superficial injuries, have been given medical treatment.

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