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A senior Chhattisgarh police officer, who was suspended on Monday after a verbal spat with a local court judge, allegedly shot his wife dead, seriously injured his children, and then killed himself on Tuesday, officials said.
Jagdalpur superintendent of police Devnarayan Patel (40) shot his wife, 11-year-old daughter and six-year-old son with his service revolver around 2am in the Saket Colony area.
The repeated gun shots woke up neighbours who rushed to Patel's house and found the police officer as well as his wife and children lying in a pool of blood.
The Indian Express reported that Patel, who was among the officers credited with breaking the Maoist citadel of Abujhmaad, appeared to have shot his wife, before firing three shots at a wall, which ricocheted and hit their children. He is believed to have then shot himself.
The daily added that a one-line suicide note has been found from Patel’s home, which reportedly talks about the “arbitrariness” of his suspension.
Sources in the police department said Patel was apparently disturbed over his suspension which led him to take such an extreme step.
The Express cited sources saying that Patel was chasing a suspicious man through the town after he had raided a Jagdalpur hotel on Sunday.
He then ran into a traffic jam, where he had an argument with additional district judge A Toppo, the Express reported.
Patel is said to have accused the judge of driving drunk, and allegedly manhandled him, according to the newspaper.
The officer was suspended after Toppo complained to the state government about Patel’s alleged highhandedness, it added.
Inspector general of police (Bastar Range) Arun Dev Gautam told PTI that Patel and his wife died on the spot while their son and daughter were taken to a hospital in Jagdalpur and then referred to a major hospital in Raipur as their condition was said to be critical.
The children have been admitted to Ramkrishna Care Hospital in Raipur, the IG said.
State home minister Ramsewak Paikra and several police officers visited the hospital where the two children were admitted to the intensive care unit.
Doctors said both children are battling for life despite successful surgeries.
The government has ordered a magisterial inquiry and the district collector has separately ordered a judicial probe into the incident.
Patel’s family has, however, sought an investigation by the CBI.
Patel hailed from Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh.
(With PTI and IANS inputs)