In a case of fratricide, a BSF personnel on Sunday shot three of his colleagues before committing suicide at a border outpost at Maguruli in Tripura’s Unakoti district. Even though the motive behind the killing and subsequent suicide by constable Sishu Pal, who hailed from Jammu and Kashmir, is yet to be ascertained, the incident once again highlights the need to tackle stress and depression among troopers.
Officer-in-charge of Irani police station, Swapan Debbarma said, the incident happened when Pal had come to the outpost to hand over his service rifle to head constable Bijoy Kumar. It was then that the constable went berserk and fired several rounds at Kumar, who died on the spot. Debbarma said it was not known if an altercation preceded the shooting incident.
READ | Death of a jawan
The border outpost is located 185 km away from state capital Agartala. “After killing Kumar, Pal fired indiscriminately and fatally injured two more constables — Rinku Kumar and Rakesh Kumar Jadav. Rinku died at the Unakoti district hospital here and Jadav was shifted to ILS hospital at Agartala,” Debbarma said. However, Jadav succumbed to the bullet wounds later in the day.
Both Bijoy Kumar and Rinku Kumar also hailed from Jammu & Kashmir, while Jadav was from Uttar Pradesh. The bodies have been sent for post-mortem. The incident bears resemblance to a similar case that took place in Chhattisgarh last year. A CRPF jawan posted in Basguda camp in Bijapur district sprayed bullets at his colleagues with an AK-47 assault rifle after an argument, killing three superiors and a constable. It was reported that the jawan was angry about not being allowed to go on leave. Last November, a BSF soldier was shot by his colleague after a feud inside the BSF headquarters in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
Last month, officials of the Union Home Ministry told Parliament’s Committee on Estimates that nearly 700 personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), posted in some of the toughest terrains and combat zones across the country, had committed suicide in the last six years — a figure surpassing those killed in action. Last year, in a first-of-its kind step, BSF has launched two ambitious projects to curb suicides and depression amongst its jawans and has introduced a ‘wellness quotient assessment’ test in their annual medical checkup.