Jammu: An Army jawan killed a Major in a fit of rage after the latter pulled him up for using a cellphone on duty at a forward post near the Line of Control in J&K on Monday. Naik Kathi Resan (19 Madras) and Major Shikar Thapa of 71 Armoured Regiment both were deployed at a Rashtriya Rifles unit in Uri sector had a heated argument at 9.45pm after Thapa spotted his junior using the phone in contravention of rules.
The phone also fell down and was damaged while it was being confiscated. Angered by this, Resan fired two bursts from his AK-47 as soon as the Major started walking away from the spot. Thapa, who died instantly, hails from Dharamshala and is survived by his widow and a three-month-old son.
A cellphone is not allowed on such a duty as it distracts the attention of the user and also illuminates his face, making it easier for an enemy or terrorists to spot him from a distance, an Army officer said. A probe is on, the officer added.
The 15-lakh strong armed forces continue to lose over 100 personnel a year in stress-related deaths in the form of suicides, fragging and fratricide. In 2016, the Army overall recorded 101 suicides and two cases of fratricide, while the figure for IAF was 19 and one. The Navy, in turn, had five suicide cases. This despite all the so-called measures undertaken by the defence establishment to reduce stress among soldiers, airmen and sailors deployed far away from their families.
Soldiers often undergo tremendous mental stress for not being able to take care of the problems being faced by their families back home, which could range from property disputes and harassment by anti-social elements to financial and marital problems.