A probe into the gun battle at Doordarshan centre in Bastar district that killed three jawans on May 12 last year has revealed that Chhattisgarh Armed Forces (CAF) men opened fire at each other. Initially it was suspected that Maoists had attacked the Doordarshan centre, a police officer said.
The findings of the probe into the post-midnight battle were revealed by Bastar district superintendent of police Ajay Yadav to HT.
The Bastar SP said the CAF security personnel on duty opened fire on their colleagues after a scuffle over some personal grudges. “The fighting among the CAF jawans began over their duty schedules and the food. They opened fire on each other. As Bastar is a Maoist-affected district, it became convenient for a jawan, Syed Mazhar, who survived, to cite the attack as the handiwork of left-wing extremists,” Yadav told HT.
After Mazhar’s recovery, the police confirmed their suspicion with his sustained interrogation.
“The district police initially presumed it was as an attack led by armed guerillas as our men were killed. Some element of suspicion however persisted as the weapons were not looted and no damage was done to the transmission centre. But then nothing could be conclusively affirmed because it was first incident of its kind in Maoist-affected area”, ADG (anti-Maoist operation) RK Vij said.
“Head constable Silmanus Ekka and constable Vasu Dev argued over responsibility and timings. During a scuffle Ekka opened fire on Dev killing him. Constables Mazhar, a close friend of Dev, and Alexander Lakda too resorted to firing. In the gun-battle Ekka and Lakda were killed,” Yadav said.