Bathinda firing incident: What happened and what is fratricide? | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Bathinda firing incident: What happened and what is fratricide?

BySanskriti Falor, New Delhi
Apr 12, 2023 07:12 PM IST

According to the data by MHA, there were 29 cases of fratricide in the past 60 months.

Four Army jawans were shot and killed at Punjab's Bathinda military station in what officials have called a case of 'fratricide'. Police have ruled out a terror attack angle and the Army has identified the four slain soldiers, while also confirming a detailed investigation is underway. The investigation will focus on several aspects, including an INSAS assault rifle and 28 bullets that went missing Monday.

The Army and police have said all angles - including the 'missing' rifle - will be investigated. (HT)
The Army and police have said all angles - including the 'missing' rifle - will be investigated. (HT)

What happened in Bathinda?

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At around 4.30 am Wednesday a firing incident was reported from the Bathinda military base, which is located less than 100 km from the Pakistan border. Later in the day a senior Punjab Police official said the four jawans were asleep in their barrack when they were attacked.

What is the case of the 'missing' rifle?

Reports have said that an INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) assault rifle and 28 rounds went 'missing' Monday. Nineteen bullets were found at the scene of the shooting. The other nine and the rifle itself are still 'missing', as are the perpetrators; the exact number of shooters is still unclear.

The Army and police have said all angles - including the 'missing' rifle - will be investigated.

Follow Live Updates on Bathinda military base firing

What is fratricide?

Fratricide refers to the killing of one's own brother or sister.

In military cases, though, it refers to the killing of one's fellow soldiers.

According to a report by the National Library of Medicine stress is an 'inseparable part of life', especially for those in the armed forces. This manifests as 'mental disorders (and) disciplinary problems… (and) suicides and fratricides have (become) a matter of concern'.

Prolonged spells of stressful work with minimal rest can put a big strain on individuals and 'this can result in psychological distress… or even post-traumatic stress disorders. In addition… desertion, dereliction of duty, poly substance abuse, deliberate self-harm, and fratricides may occur'.

Fratricide in India's armed forces

The Union Home Ministry listed for the Lok Sabha, in March 2023, the possible causes for similar cases among the Central Armed Police Forces. According to the data, there were 29 cases of fratricide in the past 60 months.

In the period 2018-2022 there were 15 such cases from the Central Reserve Police Force, nine from the Border Security Force and two from the Central Industrial Security Force. One incident was reported from each of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Army Reserve and the Sashastra Seema Bal.

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