Srinagar: A trooper fatally shot dead five of his colleagues and then turned the gun on himself following a heated argument in north’s Kashmir Ganderbal district, officials said Thursday.

A police officer told IANS that an angry trooper of the Rashtriya Rifles went berserk inside the Safapora (Manasbal) camp in the district, 35 km from here, following a heated exchange of words with his colleagues.

“He resorted to indiscriminate firing resulting in the death of five Rashtriya Rifles troopers. After the firing, the irate trooper shot and killed himself,” the police officer said.

Lt. Col. N.N. Joshi, public relations officer at the Indian Army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps, said that a court of inquiry has been ordered.

He said the incident took place during the intervening night of Wednesday-Thursday.

Incidents of fratricidal firing have been occurring in security forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir during the last two decades.

The incidents are attributed to tensions among soldiers and troopers deployed in extremely hostile conditions, long periods of separation from families, lack of recreational facilities and poor command and control structure.

Counsellors have suggested various measures to address the problem.

These include periodic holidays to enable soldiers and troopers join their families, recreational facilities at their places of posting and an effective command and control structure.

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