A CRPF man killed four colleagues and injured three others, opening fire at them in a camp of the paramilitary force in Chhattisgarh’s District Sukma today at about 3:15 AM, a police official said. It was the Central Reserve Police Force’s (CRPF) 50th battalion in Linganpalli village under the Maraiguda police station of the area in the district, located nearly 400 km from the state capital Raipur, Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P said.
As per preliminary information, constable Reetesh Ranjan fired at his colleagues with his service weapon, an AK-47 rifle, the official said.
The seven injured personnel were immediately shifted to a hospital in the nearby Bhadrachalam area of neighbouring Telangana, where doctors declared four of them dead on arrival, the official said.
Those killed were identified as constables Rajmani Kumar Yadav, Rajib Mondal, Dhanji and Dharmendra Kumar, he said, adding that three other injured personnel were being treated at the hospital.
Constable Ranjan was immediately held and his interrogation is underway, he said.
In a similar incident of fratricide in January this year, a CRPF jawan was killed and another one injured after their colleague opened fire at them in their camp in the state’s Bastar district, police earlier said.
The offender had then tried to commit suicide by shooting himself, they said.
Dhananjay and Dharmatma have been airlifted to Raipur, Maharana is undergoing treatment at Bhadrachalam, where the injured jawans were being treated, CRPF officers said. Of the four deceased, three are from Bihar and one from West Bengal, police said.
Ranjan has been taken into police custody and senior CRPF officials are trying to find out the reason behind his actions. “He had had a fight with his colleagues over some personal matter a few days ago, but that was trivial,” sources from the Lingampalli camp said. According to sources, Ranjan had applied for leave from 13 November, which was accepted.
After being taken into custody, Ranjan has refused to talk, senior officers said. “We have taken his rifle and have contacted his family. We are going through his belongings and also his phone details to find out what might have happened before he pulled the trigger,” a senior CRPF officer said. He further added, “Ranjan was a trained jawan who was working in the area for the past few years. It is an unfortunate incident and we are investigating further.’
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel expressed grief over the incident and directed police officers to take necessary measures to ensure such incidents do not recur, according to a government statement.