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Valley ‘friendly fire’ death: Army calls it militant attack

WHILE the Army has admitted that it was “friendly fire” that led to the death of one soldier and injuries to two on Monday night at Chattergum in Badgam district,the FIR they have filed at the Chadoora police station continues to call it a militant attack.

Written by Mir Ehsan | Srinagar | Published: October 24, 2012 1:34 am

WHILE the Army has admitted that it was “friendly fire” that led to the death of one soldier and injuries to two on Monday night at Chattergum in Badgam district,the FIR they have filed at the Chadoora police station continues to call it a militant

attack.

On Tuesday,the Army ordered a probe to find out the circumstances behind the death of Territorial Army jawan Ghulam Rasool Sheikh and injuries to Naik Setien Tao and Territorial Army driver Abdul Rauf,deployed with 25 Rashtriya Rifles. Both Tao and Rauf received minor bruises and are out of danger.

“In the FIR,the Army said that militants fired on them last night,leaving one soldier dead and two injured,” Budgam Superintendent of Police (SP) Uttam Chand told The Indian Express.

The Army officials present at the spot had also told officers that the Army vehicle was fired at by militants.

Later,however,the Army had termed it a case of “mistaken identity”,saying Sheikh was killed when a group of soldiers mistook his party,which was in a civilian vehicle,as militants and fired on them.

Defense spokesman Col Brijesh Panday said a senior officer will conduct the investigation . Giving details of the incident,Pandey said troops of 53 Rashtriya Rifles had set up a vehicle check-post at Chattergam chowk after they received information about militant movement.

“The vehicle in which jawans of 25 Rashtriya Rifles and Territorial Army were travelling failed to stop at the check-post and was fired at by the patrol party,” he said.

Asked about the FIR,Panday said: “Initially there was fire from a direction… One vehicle had already passed and (the other) vehicle was caught in the firing. Something happened and that is what we are investigating

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