The Hindu 17 July 2010
A “drunk” CRPF jawan allegedly opened fire from his AK-47 rifle killing six of his colleagues, including an officer who had reprimanded him for consuming alcohol on duty, minutes before the shooting spree in Saraikela district of Jharkhand.
The alleged shooter was gunned down after a four-hour drama by other CRPF personnel on Friday night, preventing any further casualties.
Shocked by the incident, CRPF headquarters in New Delhi has rushed its Additional Director General (Headquarters) J.C. Dabas to the spot to find the facts about the fratricidal incident, along with other senior officials posted in the State overseeing anti-Naxal operations.
Constable Harpinder Singh of the 196 battalion of the CRPF, who was on sentry duty at a camp in Kuchai village of Saraikela district, started firing indiscriminately on his colleagues at around 10 p.m., a CRPF spokesperson said.
Six of his colleagues, including Assistant Commandant Bikau Singh, were killed in the firing.
According to sources in the force, an altercation broke out between Singh and other CRPF men over the quantity of food being wasted in the company mess. Singh, who was the mess in-charge, started arguing.
Assistant Commandant Bikau Singh then called these men into his tent to solve the issue.
Bikau found Singh to be “drunk” and ordered a medical test, which enraged him, the sources said adding, he picked up his AK-47 rifle and shot dead four personnel, including the officer.
The men at the camp tried for three hours to persuade Singh to drop the gun and surrender but the last straw came when he killed a sentry atop a watchtower, the sources said.
Then the other jawans fired at him to disarm him and stop further killings.
As Singh continued to fire, CRPF personnel at the camp shot him dead at around 2 a.m., the officer said.
The dead included Head Constables M.C. Patil and I.R. Khairnar from Maharashtra, Head Constables P.T. Rao of Andhra Pradesh, Jatav Bhav Singh from Gujarat and Constable Vijay Kumar from Uttar Pradesh.
The District Superintendent of Police and the Commandant of the battalion reached the site in the night itself. Police have registered a case, they said.
Sources said Singh had resumed duty on June 18 after returning from a vacation.
A report from Saraikela-Kharswan district said an FIR has been lodged in connection with the firing incident.
Superintendent of Police Abhisekha Kumar said Constable Harpinder Singh, who opened the fire, was made accused in the FIR.
Post-mortem of the bodies was conducted in a local government hospital on Saturday, Deputy Commissioner of Saraikela-Kharswan district A.K. Mishra said.
A jawan, who was injured in the firing, has been admitted to MGM Hospital, he said.
The SP, who visited the spot, said the preliminary investigation suggested that Harpinder Singh opened fire in a drunken state.
Jawan was gunned down after 4-hour drama
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