An FIR has been registered against six Army jawans in Rajasthan after a critically injured man whom they admitted in a local hospital succumbed to injuries, police said on Tuesday. According to police, the victim Salman (24) along with his friend had gone to the firing range in Pokhran on a motorcycle on Monday.
Since it is a prohibited area, they turned their bike towards sand dunes in order to escape when they saw a patrolling vehicle of the Army, they said. ”The victim’s family allege that Salman went to the firing range in search of cattle. They said while his friend managed to escape, Salman was caught by the jawans who thrashed him badly and later took him to the hospital in a critical condition,” Ashok Kumar, SHO, Lathi police station said.
The Army authorities, however, denied the allegations and said the jawans had spotted the victim lying injured and they rushed him to the hospital. Meanwhile, the aggrieved family members staged a dharna with the body in front of Pokhran SDM office, demanding the arrest of the accused soldiers, compensation of Rs 50 lakh and government job to one family member. The station house officer (SHO) said postmortem was conducted and an FIR was registered against the jawans Monday night. Jaisalmer collector Tina Dabi said efforts are being made to convince the protesting family members. “The matter will be resolved soon,” she said.
Talking about the incident, defence spokesperson Lt Col Amitabh Sharma said the civilian was found lying injured and the patrolling party immediately evacuated him to the nearest government hospital, where he later succumbed to the injuries. “Both the Army and police are jointly investigating the case,” he said.
The Pokhran field firing range in Jaisalmer, located close to the Indo-Pak border, is used for firing by the armed forces and is regularly patrolled by Army personnel from security point of view. “On August 1 at around 11.30 am, during routine patrolling, two men were spotted who had illegally ventured about 5 kilometers inside the sensitive defence area. When the Army patrol approached them, one individual fled and the other one was found lying injured. “The patrolling party immediately evacuated the injured civilian to the nearest medical facility at Government hospital, Lathi where he later succumbed,” the spokesperson added.