Oct. 2: Denied leave, a soldier gunned down two seniors and another colleague before killing himself in the second incident of “fragging” in exactly a month in Jammu and Kashmir.
Fragging, a feared term in militaries across the world, is an Americanism that describes a soldier’s act of killing or attempting to kill superior officers. The slang is extracted from “fragmentation grenade”, the weapon used by a US Marine to kill his senior during the Vietnam war.
Sepoy Santosh Kumar from Jharkhand killed two junior commissioned officers and another soldier inside the camp of his battalion, 9 Bihar, in Rajouri. The dead have been identified as Subedar Major P.S. Nadir, Subedar Ram Kumar and Hawaldar Ram Singh.
“The soldier later shot himself before the guards could overpower him,” a defence spokesperson said.
Sources said Santosh, who had returned from a month-long leave in July, had asked for a break again.
In the Indian Army, fragging typically occurs in high-stress areas ' mostly in Jammu and Kashmir ' and after prolonged deployment. The usual cause is denial of leave or cash allowances.
There was a dramatic increase in fragging at the fag end of Operation Parakram, the year-long deployment of the army in 2001-2002.
On September 2, a havaldar had killed a major and himself inside the army camp at Baghatpora in Kupwara with an AK-47 after an argument.