November 9, 2021 4:37:28 am
A CRPF jawan allegedly turned his weapon on colleagues at a camp in Chhattisgarh’s Naxal-hit Sukma district early on Monday, killing four personnel and injuring three.
The assailant, Reetesh Ranjan, a jawan of the CRPF’s company #50, has been taken into custody. The reasons for his action were not immediately clear.
CRPF officials said Ranjan fired on sleeping colleagues in his barracks at the Lingampalli camp of the force in Maraiguda police station area of Sukma’s Konta block, some 450 km from the state capital Raipur. The incident happened around 3.25 am, ahead of Ranjan’s scheduled sentry duty at 4 am.
Two of Ranjan’s victims died on the spot, two others succumbed on the way to the base hospital.
The deceased have been identified as Dhanji, Rajib Mondal, Rajmani Kumar Yadav, and Dharmendra Kumar Singh. Three of them were from Bihar, and the fourth from West Bengal, police said.
Two of the injured, Dhananjay Kumar and Dharmatma Kumar, have been airlifted to Raipur and are reported to be stable. The third jawan, Malaya Ranjan Maharana, is being treated at Bhadrachalam, where all three of the injured were first taken, CRPF officers said.
Sources said Ranjan was to have gone on leave from November 13. “He had had a fight with his colleagues over some personal matter a few days ago, but that was trivial,” sources at the Lingampalli camp said.
Ranjan has refused to talk in custody, senior officers said. “We have taken his rifle and have contacted his family. An FIR is being lodged and police are investigating. We are also going through his belongings and phone details for clues on what might have provoked him,” a senior CRPF officer said.
Ranjan had been in the CRPF’s battalion #50 since 2017, officers said. “He had joined the CRPF in 2011, and had completed his tenure in Chhattisgarh. He was supposed to join duty in Jammu and Kashmir after returning from leave,” the senior officer said.
All the seven dead and injured were Ranjan’s batchmates, and the men had been working together since 2017. “He had had previous fights with the injured as they were barrackmates, but it was never serious. We are trying to figure out why he went berserk on Monday,” one of his colleagues said.
CRPF IG Prakash D said, “It is a very unfortunate incident. We lost some of our brave young men. The local police will investigate the matter further.”
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