A CRPF constable who was on duty when a large crowd had blocked the national highway in Nalbari district in Assam on Friday to press for some demands, suddenly opened fire on his own officer and killed him on the spot, simultaneously also killing a high school student.
Nalbari’s BM Rajkhowa said CRPF company was on duty along with an Assam Police contingent to handle the situation as a large number of people blocked the highway at Nathkuchi demanding creation of a new sub-division, when a constable suddenly fired indiscriminately on one of his officers, who died on the spot.
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The constable, later identified as Amal Kumar Das, pumped at least 24 bullets on his officer, Assistant Sub-Inspector DC Bordoloi from close range, killing him instantly. A local student leader, Himangshu Baishya who was in the front ranks of demonstrators blocking the highway, was also killed. What provoked the constable to open fire was yet to be ascertained.
“The entire incident occurred in the very presence of Nalbari Additional Deputy Commissioner Mrigesh Narayan Barua who also sustained injuries when he jumped forward to overpower the CRPF constable who had gone berserk, with bullets also hitting five other persons. While a student called Himangshu Baishya also died on the spot, five persons including three CRPF personnel have been shifted to the GMC Hospital in Guwahati,” SP Rajkhowa said. The incident occurred at around 10:30 AM.
The Nalbari SP also confirmed that there was no situation which had warranted opening of fire. “The demonstrators under the banner of Tihu Sub-division Demand Committee was about to submit its memorandum to the additional deputy commissioner, after which it would have anyway dispersed. But even before that, the havildar suddenly fired with his automatic weapon, killing his officer and another person,” SP Rajkhowa said. Had it not for ADC Rajkhowa’s quick reaction, the casualty figure would have been higher, he added.
In Guwahati, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi described the incident as unfortunate and announced an inquiry into the incident. “There was no clash or confrontation between the demonstrators and the police. We will arrange to pay a compensation to the next of kin of the deceased,” Gogoi said.
The CRPF jawan tried to flee but was almost immediately overpowered by his fellow personnel and Nalbari ADC Mrigesh Narayan Barua, who also sustained injuries in the scuffle. The CRPF contingent belonged to the 136 Battalion stationed at Mukalmua in the same district.