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Soldier shoots superior after reprimand for cell phone use



India soldiers in the disputed Kashmir region

An Indian soldier shot dead his superior after he was reprimanded for using a mobile phone while on the job in India-administered Kashmir.

Maj. Shikhar Thapa admonished the soldier for using his phone during work hours and the screen of the smartphone was damaged as he tried to confiscate it.

According to military sources, a heated altercation followed and the soldier fired at the officer with his automatic rifle.

Thapa died soon after of fatal gunshot wounds.

Incidents of soldiers killing their colleagues are not uncommon in India, particularly in Kashmir where the Indian forces are battling a violent separatist insurgency.

There were three cases of fatricide a soldier killing a fellow soldier or a superior in 2016, the Defence Ministry said in a statement placed in Parliament in March.

In 2016, 101 soldiers had committed suicide while in February 2014, a soldier gunned down five colleagues before shooting himself, also in Kashmir.

In the past, such incidents of shootings and suicides by troops have been blamed by army officials on soldiers’ stress due to hostile condition and long separations from their families. (dpa/NAN)

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