Denial of leave has, in the past, been cited as a major reason for fratricide in the Army, but a gunner sentenced to life for killing his commander has narrated to the Supreme Court a story of persistent demand for “unnatural sex” by the superior as the reason to turn the gun on the subedar.
Gunner B D Khente pumped 18 bullets from his rifle into post commander subedar Randhir Singh at Razdhan, Baramulla, hours after he was punished by the senior for refusing to accede to his demands. Khente had been posted at the sensitive point for just 5 months after completion of training. The young man, arrested immediately after the shooting on June 28, 2006, had narrated his ordeal before the court of inquiry CoI and the Armed Forces Tribunal.
On that day, when Khente was about to retire at lunch time, the subedar ordered him to the store room and bolted the door. Two jawans who knocked on the door after hearing Khente’s cries were asked to go away by the subedar. Minutes later, Khente ran to the quarters and told his colleagues that the subedar had hit him and asked him to open his trousers. When he declined, he was beaten again, he claimed. Smarting under the humiliation, Khente, on the same night while on gun duty, fired at the subedar when he saw him approaching the guard post.
When another colleague was questioned on the subedar’s habit of attempting to sodomize young recruits, he told the CoI that the subedar had kissed him on the cheeks on four occasions in front of others. Arguing for Khente, advocate Ranji Thomas said it was not a planned murder but an offence committed when the person had virtually lost mental balance because of the senior’s attempt to sodomize him.
He requested a bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana P Desai to consider changing the conviction charge from homicide to culpable homicide, which would attract a maximum punishment of 10 years instead of the life sentence awarded. The bench agreed to consider the plea.
via Times Of India.