After stoutly denying involvement of its personnel in the killing of a 13-year-old boy in Chennai on Sunday, the army on Wednesday allowed the CB-CID to question four of its men, including Lt Col Ajay S Bharwal.
A source in the CB-CID (crime branch of the criminal investigation department) said Bharwal was questioned the longest. CB-CID additional director general of police R Sekar said the department was narrowing in on suspects.
The army has been under intense pressure following the killing of Dilshan, who was shot in the head when he and three others reportedly trespassed on army residential premises behind Fort St George in central Chennai to pluck almonds.
Police inspection of the crime scene pointed to the fatal shot coming from the direction of the army flats.
One of the boys who had accompanied Dilshan told the police a man in army uniform had shouted at them and they got scared and ran. Dilshan was on the wall when they heard a gunshot and then they saw him fall.
A police source said the fatal shot may have come from a .9 mm pistol, which is a standard issue to officials in the army, police, paramilitary organisations and those entrusted with personal security duties of VIPs. It would be illegal if a civilian were to be in possession of such a weapon, a former police official said.
Investigators are not ruling out the possibility of the shot having been fired from an illegal weapon. Sekar said CB-CID would get the ballistics report on Thursday.