Viral tweets claiming that four soldiers, who were killed in a firing at the Bathinda Military Cantonment on April 12, belonged to the 18 Horse Regiment of the Indian Army are false.
An Indian Army spokesman confirmed that all the deceased soldiers belonged to the 80 Artillery Regiment. Further, we were able to confirm that the 18 Horse Regiment is a part of the Pakistan Army.
Four soldiers were killed in a shooting on April 12, 2023, at Punjab’s Bathinda Military Station, one of the largest bases in the country. The incident took place at 4.35 am in the base’s barracks. Punjab Police told Reuters the incident was not a terror attack but a fratricidal incident. Details of the assailants are not known yet. An FIR has been filed against two unknown persons. The Indian Army said on Wednesday it had located an assault rifle believed to have been used in the attack. The four soldiers killed in the attack were Gunners Yogesh Kumar, Sagar Banne, Kamlesh R, and Santosh M Nagaral all reported to be between 24-25 years of age. A joint investigation by the Indian Army and police is underway.
A Twitter handle named Saffron Diaries tweeted about the incident saying, "Sources within the Indian Army have reported that a Sikh soldier allegedly killed four Hindu soldiers belonging to the 18 Horse Regiment at the Bathinda Military Cantonment."
Click here to view the tweet.
The same claim was picked up by users on Facebook and shared with captions in Bangla.
Click here to view the post.
BOOM first accessed the FIR copy about the Bathinda Military Cantonment firing incident registered by the Punjab police.
The FIR was registered on April 12 based on the statement of Major Ashutosh Shukla who is posted as a major of the 80 Medium Regiment since February 2022. It can be seen below.
Major Shukla, in the FIR, said that Gunner Desai Mohan on April 12 at 4:30 a.m. told him about a firing which happened inside the unit mess barrack. Shukla was also informed that two unidentified men were seen coming out of the barrack where the gunners were present.
According to Major Shukla of the 80 Medium Regiment, he and a captain discovered the blood-soaked bodies of Gunner Sagar Banne, Yogesh Kumar, Santosh M Nagaral and Kamlesh R.
For further confirmation, we reached out to an Indian Army spokesman to verify the authenticity of the viral claim.
Speaking to BOOM about the soldiers belonging to the 18 Horse Regiment, Col Sudhir Chamoli said, "It's fake. All the four soldiers are from 80 Artillery Regiment."
18 Horse Regiment Part Of Pakistan Army
On the other hand, we cross-checked the said "18 Horse Regiment" but were unable to find mention of any such regiment on the Indian Army's website. As per the website, the Indian Army has the 1 horse, 14 Horse, 4 Horse, 9 Horse, 17 Horse and Central India Horse regiment.
We also found the mention of the '18 Horse Regiment' on a Pakistan Government's gazette notification. The notification from June 3, 2020, issued by the Pakistan Defence Ministry can be seen below.
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