Wednesday, June 7, 2023
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HomeFact CheckBathinda Military Station Firing: Deceased Soldiers Were Not From 18 Horse Regiment

Bathinda Military Station Firing: Deceased Soldiers Were Not From 18 Horse Regiment


Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

A self-taught social media maverick, Saurabh realised the power of social media early on and began following and analysing false narratives and ‘fake news’ even before he entered the field of fact-checking professionally. He is fascinated with the visual medium, technology and politics, and at Newschecker, where he leads social media strategy, he is a jack of all trades. With a burning desire to uncover the truth behind events that capture people's minds and make sense of the facts in the noisy world of social media, he fact checks misinformation in Hindi and English at Newschecker.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Four soldiers of the 18 Horse Regiment of the Indian Army were killed in the recent Bathinda Military Station firing.

The deceased soldiers belonged to the 80 Medium Regiment – an artillery unit. There is no 18 Horse Regiment in the Indian Army

While the Indian army and Punjab police continue to probe the recent firing incident at Bathinda military station that killed four jawans, many twitter handles, including verified ones, “revealed” that the victims of the incident belonged to the 18 Horse Regiment and that “a Sikh soldier allegedly killed four Hindu soldiers”

Several Twitter users used the information to “uncover facts” about the Bathinda firing.

Such posts can be seen here, here and here.

Also Read: PM Modi’s Effigy Wrapped In National Flag, Paraded Upside Down In Punjab? Here’s What We Found

Note: As the investigation into the matter is still on, the scope of this fact check is restricted to the claim on the deceased soldier belonging to the 18 Horse Regiment.

Fact Check/Verification

A keyword search for “Bathinda,” “army,” and “firing” on Google yielded a tweet by news agency ANI, dated April 12, 2023, detailing the incident. It stated, “Four army jawans of an artillery unit succumbed to gunshot injuries sustained during the firing incident at Bathinda Military Station. No other injuries to personnel or loss/damage to property were reported. The area continues to be sealed off, and joint investigations with Punjab Police are being coordinated to establish the facts of the case. All aspects, including the possible case of involvement of an INSAS rifle along with 28 rounds reported missing two days back, are being ascertained: Indian Army.”

Screengrab from tweet by @ANI

Further, multiple reports over the past 24 hours have confirmed that there were four casualties in the Bathinda military station firing on April 12, 2023. Such reports can be seen here, here and here.

Newschecker also accessed a copy of the FIR filed at Cantt Bathinda Police Station in this regard, confirming four casualties.

Screengrab from FIR copy accessed by Newschecker

Identities of The 4 Deceased

We skimmed through various news reports on the incident, and found that the four deceased have been identified as Gunners Sagar Banne, Yogesh Kumar J, Santosh M Nagaral, and Kamalesh R. The South-Western Command reported no other injuries to personnel or loss of or damage to property.

Screengrab from Hindustan Times report

Deceased Not From 18 Horse Regiment

Newschecker continued our investigation to ascertain whether the four deceased belonged to the 18 Horse Regiment or not.

Notably, Major Ashutosh Shukla was identified as the complainant in the FIR copy, and, as per multiple media reports, he belongs to the 80 Medium Regiment of Artillery.

Further, a keyword search for “Bathinda” and “80 Medium Regiment” threw up a report by India Today, dated April 12, 2023, elaborating on the incident. It read, “The jawans who died were from the Indian Army’s 80 Medium Regiment – an artillery unit.”

Screengrab from India Today report

Reports in Business Today, Aaj Tak and The Tribune also stated that the four deceased were from the 80 Medium Regiment of the Indian Army.

(Top-Bottom) Screengrabs from Business Today website, Aaj Tak and The Tribune

There was no mention of the 18 Horse regiment in any reports/statements pertaining to the fatal shooting at Bathinda Army cantt on Wednesday.

Also Read: Viral Image of Amritpal Singh Sandhu In Front Of A Mosque Is Edited

18 Horse Regiment Not A Part Of Indian Army

We skimmed through multiple publicly available lists of Indian Army regiments, but did not find any mention of 18 Horse Regiment. Additionally, we noticed that several social media users, including Journalist Shiv Aroor, pointed out that there is no 18 Horse Regiment in the Indian Army.

Screengrab from tweet by @ShivAroor

However, several other users pointed out that there is a regiment by the same name in the Pakistani army. 

We also came across a notification by the Pakistani Ministry of Defence in a 2020 Gazette, identifying 18 Horse as one of their regiments.

 18 Horse Regiment
Screengrab from Pakistani Gazette

Accused Still At Large, Identity Still Under Probe

The accused in the Bathinda cantt firing are still at large and their identities are still unclear, as per the news reports. According to the FIR, “two unidentified men in white kurta-pyjama, their faces and heads covered, were seen coming out of the barracks after the firing.”

Bathinda SP (investigation) Ajay Gandhi has reportedly said two persons in civil dress were believed to be behind the shooting.

Screengrab from The Tribune website

Newschecker was not independently able to verify the claims regarding the religious identity of the accused in the Bathinda cantt firing incident.  Other allegations, which claimed that soldiers were being probed for links with Amritpal Singh, were also unverifiable.


Viral claim that four soldiers of the 18 Horse Regiment died in the recent shootout at Bathinda cantt is misleading. The deceased belonged to the Indian Army’s 80 Medium Regiment – an artillery unit. Additionally, there is no 18 Horse Regiment in the Indian Army.

Result: Partly False

Tweet By ANI, Dated April 12, 2023
Report By Hindustan Times, Dated April 12, 2023
Report By India Today, Dated April 12, 2023
Gazette By Pakistani Authority, Dated June 3, 2020

(With Inputs From Shaminder Singh)

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