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Monday, Dec 16, 2019

6 ITBP soldiers killed, two injured in Bastar fratricide

In New Delhi, ITBP spokesperson Vivek Kumar Pandey said Rahman, a native of West Bengal’s Nadia district, killed his colleagues and then shot himself dead.

india Updated: Dec 05, 2019 01:38 IST
Ritesh Mishra
Ritesh Mishra
Hindustan Times, Raipur
The injured constables were admitted to a private hospital in Raipur where they were said to be out of danger. Image used for representational purpose only.
The injured constables were admitted to a private hospital in Raipur where they were said to be out of danger. Image used for representational purpose only. (Photo by Parwaz Khan/ Hindustan Times)
         

A constable of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) opened gunfire on a group of colleagues in Narayanpur district of Chhattigarh’s Bastar region on Wednesday, killing five of them and injuring two. The constable died too, but it wasn’t clear if he had killed himself or been hit by a colleague’s bullet.

“An ITBP constable, identified as Masudul Rahman, opened fire from his service weapon, killing four troopers at the spot. Rahman was gunned down by one of jawans in self defence; that jawan died later,” Narayanpur’s superintendent of police Mohit Garg said. One of the three injured troopers died later.

In New Delhi, ITBP spokesperson Vivek Kumar Pandey said Rahman, a native of West Bengal’s Nadia district, killed his colleagues and then shot himself dead.

Those killed in the incident were identified as head constables Mahendra Singh and Daljit Singh, and constables Surjit Sarkar, Biswaroop Mahto and Bijeesh. Constables SB Ullas and Sitaram Doon were injured in the incident.

The injured constables were admitted to a private hospital in Raipur where they were said to be out of danger.

Rahman’s father, Marfat Ali Sheikh, a resident of Bilkumri village in the Krishnanagar area of Bengal’s Nadia district, said: “Every time we talked in recent weeks my son said he was not getting leave and hence not being able to come home. We wanted to get him married and even selected a girl for him.”

“The local police station informed us of the incident after noon. I cannot say why he opened fire on his colleagues. The department may have some reason for not sanctioning leave,” said Sheikh.

A senior police officer in Raipur said on condition of anonymity that the reason why Rahman had turned the gun on his colleagues hadn’t yet been ascertained.

“Earlier, we got information that there was some issue of leave but we found that Rahman had got leave and was about to leave for West Bengal. There was some altercation over an issue which is yet to be investigated,” said the senior police officer.

Chhattisgarh’s chief minister Bhupesh Baghel expressed concern over the incident.

“This is a concerning issue. I have ordered an inquiry and instructed the senior officials that this sort of incident should be contained,” Baghel told reporters.

Narayanpur is a district known as a hotbed of Left-wing extremism in Chhattisgarh. It is crucial for conduct of anti-Maoist operations in the region because it provides direct access to the densely forested Abujhmad area.

Straddled between Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, Abujhmad, or the “unknown hill”, has been an epicentre of Maoist operations for decades. About a dozen central committee members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) are said to be camping in the region.