The four army jawans who were shot dead on April 12 while they were asleep in Bhatinda were killed by an insider, after he was allegedly sexually harassed and raped by them, says a senior army officer who is close to the army’s investigation into the case.
No external groups, including Sikh militants, have been found to be involved in the killings.
The four soldiers – Sagar Banne, Yogesh Kumar, Santosh and Kamlesh from 80 Medium Regiment (an artillery unit) – were allegedly shot dead while asleep by a recruited soldier called Desai Mohan, who used to work with them in the Officers’ Mess of the unit.
The weapon used in the killings was drawn from a military “kote”, or arsenal.
Officials involved in the investigation say that Desai Mohan told them he was being regularly raped and abused by the four soldiers who were killed.
Ashamed and humiliated, he drew a rifle and shot dead the four soldiers.
There is no connection between the killings and any Sikh militant group. The letter put out by Sikh militant groups claiming responsibility is a lie, say army interrogators.
The waiter, Desai Mohan, is currently in police custody. More details are awaited from a police press conference later in the day.
#bathindamilitarystation #breaking @PunjabPoliceInd arrested gunner Mohan Desai , who was the witness in the killing of four Army jawans last Wednesday. @bhasinsukhmeet reporting . @thetribunechd @adgpi @SWComd_IA
— Ajay Banerjee (@ajaynewsman) April 17, 2023
A version of this article first appeared on retired Colonel Ajai Shukla’s website Broadsword and has been republished with permission. Read the original here.
Colonel Ajai Shukla (retired) is a columnist, commentator and journalist who covers regional security issues in South Asia and the Indo-Pacific, military technology and India’s defence economy.