Jawan ends life,tension in Army’s Samba unit

Identified as 30-year-old Swaran Arun V from Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram,the deceased was posted with 16 Cavalry in Samba.

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu | Published:August 9, 2012 1:47 am

Three months after a scuffle broke out between Army officers and jawans at Nyoma in Ladakh,there was yet another stand off on Wednesday between officers and jawans at a unit in border Samba district over alleged suicide by a soldier.

Identified as 30-year-old Swaran Arun V from Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram,the deceased was posted with 16 Cavalry in Samba. The jawan,who was reportedly on guard duty along with another colleague on Wednesday morning,had earlier received a phone call at around 6.45 am.

Giving details,sources said after receiving the phone call,Swaran went to the guard room and shot himself dead with his INSAS rifle. Hearing the gunshot,other jawans rushed to the room and found his body lying in a pool of blood.

The death raised tempers at the unit as a number of jawans hailing from Thiruvananthapuram and other parts of Kerala held seniors responsible for the death. Pointing out that the deceased had been deployed on sentry duty despite his posting in the computer section,they accused the officers of ill treating the jawans.

A Subedar who tried to pacify them was manhandled. Sensing the gravity of the situation,the Commanding Officer and his second in command did not turn up. There was a ruckus in the unit,with jawans leaving their guard duties to join the protest which continued till afternoon.

The Brigade Commander rushed there and tried to pacify the jawans. Later,General Officer Commanding of 9 Corps,Lt General A K Bhalla,too reached the spot and ordered a Court of Inquiry into the incident.

Senior Army officers,who did not want to be named,however,denied any stand-off between officers and jawans at the unit. “It is a simple case of suicide by a jawan who had come from home after availing leave on July 29,” they claimed.

Israr Khan,Senior Superindent of Police,Samba,who visited the unit after the suicide,said the police had registered a case and started inquest proceedings in the matter under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

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