Indian Army has attached the Brigadier of the 13 Sector Rashtriya Rifles, who was in-charge of the Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir, amid ongoing inquiry into the death of civilians after the terror attack that killed four soldiers.
The civilians were among the eight picked up by the Army Friday in the wake of the killings of four soldiers in an ambush by terrorists, ThePrint reported.
A new officer from Kashmir has assumed the command of the 13 Sector Rashtriya Rifles.
“Brigadier P. Acharya has been attached (a term used in the Army when officers are taken off duty pending a probe and deployed with another unit or the headquarters) pending the investigation. A new officer has taken over the command. Formal posting orders will come in time,” a source was quoted as saying by The Print.
Further, more officers and men will be attached as the probe looks into the civilian deaths.
The Central government has reportedly taken a grave view of the torture videos and deaths, issuing stringent directives to the Army to fix accountability.
According to the reports, the Army's inquiry will also look into the recurrent loss of own troops in terrorist attacks in the area of responsibility of the officer in recent times.
“This is not a sacking. This is an attachment because the said officer’s conduct is under probe. Further course of action, including the kind of punishment, will be based on the outcome of the internal probe,” a source was quoted in The Print report as saying.
The Army had begun an internal investigation into the alleged torture videos and fatalities amid the ongoing probe by the J&K police into the issue.
In addition to investigating the deaths, the police inquiry will also scrutinize potential efforts by certain Army officials to conceal information and sway the civilian investigation.
It has been reported that Lieutenant General Sandeep Jain, the present Commander of the 16 Corps, is nearing the end of his tenure. He is expected to hand over his responsibilities to Lt Gen Navin Sachdeva on the 1 January.
Officers in command under him include Brigadier P Acharya, besides the Commanding Officer of the Battalion, Second in Command besides the Company Commander.
The Battalion's Commanding Officer, who is currently under investigation, was on vacation during the time of the incident and another officer was officiating.
The civilians were reportedly picked up by the same formation that had suffered casualties of four soldiers in an ambush by the terrorists on Thursday in Poonch.
On Sunday, the Army disclosed the names of the slain soldiers as Naik Birender Singh, Naik Karan Kumar, Rifleman Gautam Kumar, and Rifleman Chandan Kumar.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!