Budgam: An officer of the Indian Army succumbed to his injuries on Monday after being shot at during an attack on a patrolling party by suspected militants Sunday night in Drang area in Khag Tehsil here, the army said.
The slain was identified as Subedar Raj Kumar, a junior commissioned officer (JCO) of 24 Punjab Regiment deployed at 53 Rashtriya rifles at Drang. The party of troopers was returning from night patrol when they came under fire, the army spokesperson said.
Villagers said they heard some gunshots, “eight or nine”, at midnight on Sunday.
“When we woke in the morning, we saw blood spilled all over the ground in the village,” said a villager. Villagers said they were alert to possible “mishaps” after a braid-chopper was allegedly caught by the villagers a few hours before, but had to let him go after “army troopers helped him escape”.
The injured trooper, army sources said, was rushed to the local primary health centre and later moved to SKIMS Bemina, where he was declared “brought dead”.
Senior Superintendent of Police Budgam, Tejinder Singh, told Kashmri Reader, “We don’t know how it happened but we are investigating.” He said there was no information regarding presence of militants in the area.
When asked whether the trooper was killed in firing by militants or in accidental fire by his own colleagues, he said that death due to “accidental fire or a stray bullet cannot be ruled out”.