At least five army personnel, including three officers, were injured when an officer, believed to be of the rank of a major, allegedly opened fire and exploded grenades inside a camp located near the Neeli post near Thanamandi in the Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir. The incident unfolded during a shooting practice session, leaving the army personnel in a state of chaos and panic.
According to official sources, the officer’s unprovoked attack on his colleagues took place during a routine firing practice. After firing at his comrades, the accused officer sought refuge in the camp’s armoury and proceeded to lob grenades at his superiors who attempted to persuade him to surrender. The tense situation persisted for nearly eight hours before the officer was finally overpowered inside the armoury.
The army took action, evacuating a nearby village as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of civilians in the vicinity of the camp.
However, the official statement provided by the army diverged from these accounts. The White Knight Corps of the army stated, “On 05 Oct 23, one officer was injured in a likely grenade accident at a post in Rajouri sector. The officer was evacuated and is now stable, post initial treatment. Further investigation into the incident is in progress.”
Despite the discrepancy in reports, sources on the ground maintain that the incident occurred during a firing practice that had been ongoing at the camp for several days. The accused officer, without any apparent provocation, began firing upon his colleagues and subordinates on Thursday. He sought refuge inside the camp’s armoury and launched grenades at his commanding officer, the deputy officer, and the medical officer when they approached the building in an attempt to negotiate his surrender.
As a result, all three officers were injured when one of the grenades exploded in their vicinity. The condition of the second-in-command of the unit was described as “critical.”
The chaos continued as two additional soldiers were injured during the indiscriminate firing by the accused officer, who was ultimately subdued around 11 pm, according to official sources.
In response to the incident, Lt Col Suneel Bartwal, a Jammu-based defense Public Relations Officer, clarified in a statement, “I have received calls about some firing/terrorist attack on an army camp in the General Area Rajouri. I would like to inform you that no terrorist attack has occurred; it is an unfortunate internal incident of the camp.”