Four Army jawans were killed in a firing incident reported inside Bathinda Military Station in Punjab early on Wednesday. The area was sealed off and “joint investigations with Punjab Police are being coordinated to establish the facts of the case”, the Army said.
“It has been ascertained that in the unfortunate incident, four Army jawans of an artillery unit succumbed to gunshot injuries sustained during the incident. No other injuries to personnel or loss/damage to property have been reported,” the HQ South Western Command of the Army said in a statement.
“All aspects including the possible case of involvement of an INSAS rifle along with 28 rounds reported missing two days back are being ascertained,” the statement added.
The Army has pressed into service hexacopters and drones to locate the assailants who killed the jawans, sources said. A cordon and search operation is underway at the station and a total clampdown on unnecessary movement of residents has been imposed, sources added.
The Bathinda military station is one of the largest in the country with vast open spaces.
Earlier, the HQ South Western Command had said that Station Quick Reaction Teams had been activated and search operations were in progress.
Speaking to media, Bathinda Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Gulneet Singh Khurana confirmed that “something” has happened but said the Army has not shared details. Internal combing operations by the Army are on, he said. SSP Khurana said it was not a terror attack and seemed to be some internal development in the military station.
Sources said that some weapons had gone missing from an artillery unit in the station a couple of days ago. A search operation was on for these missing weapons, the sources added.