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Soldier killed in mysterious firing in Poonch; Army calls it ‘accidental’ again

While police called it a sniper fire from across the LoC, the army has maintained that it was an “accidental fire”, as in the case of another soldier killed on Monday night.

india Updated: Apr 21, 2017 23:30 IST
Ravi K Khajuria
Ravi K Khajuria
Hindustan Times, Jammu
sniper,soldier killed,Poonch
Indian troops along the LoC in Poonch have fallen victims to alleged sniper fire from Pakistani side in the last two days.(PTI FILE PHOTO)

A young sepoy of the Indian Army lost his life after being allegedly hit by a sniper bullet fired by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control (LoC) in Bhimber Gali (BG) sector in Poonch on Tuesday, in the second such incident in 24 hours.

“Around 1745 hours (5.45 pm) on Tuesday, sepoy Ravinder Singh (20) of 21 Punjab D-Coy deployed at Damu post was hit by a sniper fire from Jhanda post of Pakistan on other side of the LoC, which is being manned by 650 Mujahid Regiment of Pak Army,” said an intelligence source.

However, defence spokesman, Lt Col Manish Mehta maintained that Ravinder Singh died of “accidental discharge”.

His death comes close on the heels of another similar death of a soldier, Manmohan Budhani of 20 Kumaon Regiment in Balnoi area of Mendhar tehsil in Poonch district along the LoC on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday.

While police called it a sniper fire from across the LoC, the army had maintained that it was an “accidental fire”.

A new recruit, Ravinder Singh had joined the army one year and four months ago, and is survived by his parents Balkar Singh and mother Manjeet Kour, hailing from Kanakwal village in Sangrur district in Punjab.

On March 9 this year, sepoy Deepak Jagannath Ghadge of Maharashtra died after he was hit by a similar sniper fire by Pakistani troops in Gulpur area of Poonch.

On April 2, a JCO was killed in an IED blast near the LoC in Poonch district. It was suspected that the mine was planted by “rogue” elements from Pakistan inside the Indian territory to inflict casualties.

The BSF had also lost DIG OP Tanwar in an IED explosion near a forward post in Samba sector on November 16, 2009 when his vehicle was blown away by a powerful IED planted by Pakistani ultras.

Rattled by such incidents along the LoC, the then GOC-in-C, Northern Command, Lt Gen KT Parnaik, on January 15, 2013 had admitted that frequent “accidental blasts” in KG sector of Poonch were actually mines planted by Pakistan to target and eliminate Indian soldiers.

First Published: Apr 19, 2017 15:31 IST