By: Rahul Adhikari
April 18 2023
According to the Indian Army, a soldier from the same unit murdered the four jawans due to personal animosity.
On April 12, four army personnel were killed while sleeping in a barrack at a military station in Bathinda, Punjab. The incident sparked outrage on social media, with several people expressing anger and condemning the attack. A few posts claimed that the murder was an act of the "Khalistan Movement," questioned if the incident was a "case of Khalistani terror," and said the shooter was "most probably Khalistani" Several other users went so far as to claim that the attack had been carried out by the Khalistan Tiger Force, a militant outfit linked to the Khalistani movement.
However, these claims are false. The Army has arrested a gunner from the same unit for the attack and stated that his actions were due to personal animosity.
In their comments to the media after the incident on April 12, the police had ruled out a terror angle, while the Army had termed it an inside job.
On April 17, an Army jawan was arrested for the shootings. The Army identified him as a gunner belonging to the same Artillery unit where the incident had occurred. According to the statement, which was also tweeted by journalist Aditya Raj Kaul, "one individual... from the Artillery unit where the incident occurred, has confessed to his involvement in stealing of an INSAS rifle and killing four of his colleagues to the Police. Initial investigations indicate this was apparently due to personal reasons/animosity (sic)."
A report by The Quint said that Bathinda Senior Superintendent of Police Gulneet Singh Khurana also reiterated that the accused had "enmity" with the four deceased jawans, stressing that the motive behind the murder was personal. SSP Khurana also added that the accused had posed as an eye witness and had concocted a story about seeing two unidentified masked assailants fleeing the scene of the crime on the morning of April 12.
Both The Quint and The Indian Express reported that the police have refused to provide further details about the "personal reasons" behind the killings. However, the latter report quoted sources saying that the gunner alleged sexual assault by the four jawans.
The Punjab Police and the Army have stated that the murders at the Bathinda Military Station were a result of personal animosity and that there was no connection to terrorism. A soldier from the same unit killed the four personnel while they were asleep. No evidence supports the claim that the shooter was a believer in the Khalistani cause. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.