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Chhattisgarh CRPF constable was ‘driven by grudge’, wanted to kill platoon commander

A platoon commander, who had lodged a complaint against the accused with the senior officer, was reportedly the prime target.

india Updated: Dec 10, 2017 21:41 IST
Ritesh Mishra
Ritesh Mishra
Hindustan Times, Raipur
CRPF,Chhattisgarh,Platoon commander
Bodies of soldiers killed in a firing by a CRPF jawan being taken from the force’s 168 Battalion camp in Chhattisgarh.(ANI Pho)

The CRPF constable who allegedly killed four troopers at the force’s Basaguda camp in Chhattisgarh on Saturday evening opened fire to slay a platoon commander against whom he held a grudge, a preliminary probe revealed.

A senior officer of the paramilitary force privy to the investigation told HT on condition of anonymity that accused Santh Kumar was angry with the platoon commander, sub-inspector Vikey Sharma, as he had recently lodged a complaint against the former.

In his complaint to the company commander, Sharma reportedly accused Kumar of frequenting a nearby village without informing anyone in search of hooch.

Following the complaint, Kumar was shifted to the main camp of the CRPF’s 168 battalion in Basaguda and handed over a job of dog handler.

The officer said that the Basauguda camp is divided in two parts – a main camp and a platoon camp few hundred metres away.

After being shifted, Kumar refused to do the dog-handling job, which again led to an altercation with Sharma. This had prompted the company commander to seek an explanation from Kumar.

“When the accused said he wanted to go on leave, the company commander instructed the platoon commander to grant him the leave and induct another constable Shamim-ullah for the dog handling job. But it failed to pacify the accused,” the officer said.

In a pre-planned attack, he killed Sharma, said the officer who is supervising the internal investigation. He claimed the others might have been shot accidentally.

“Kumar went to kill Vikey Sharma but since he fired from an AK-47 rifle, which is an automatic weapon, the bullets sprayed and others in the vicinity were killed,” the officer claimed.

Among those killed were two sub inspectors (SI) (including Sharma), one assistant sub-inspector (ASI) and a constable. Another jawan was also injured.

Giving a rundown of the incident, the officer said on that fateful evening after his duty was over around 4pm, Kumar submitted his weapon and went to the officers’ mess knowing well that Sharma would be at the kitchen garden at that point of time.

“There he picked up a weapon of one of the deceased and opened fire. The fact that the accused opened fire with the rifle of one of the deceased and not his own service weapon goes on to show his criminal mindset,” the officer said.

The accused though initially confessed to the crime, he later retracted his statement to claim that those killed fired at each other, he added.

First Published: Dec 10, 2017 13:27 IST