M A I N   N E W S

Cop guns down 5 colleagues
Nalini Ranjan

New Delhi, March 11
In a sensational early morning incident, five Sikkim police personnel guarding the premises of Dena Bank in Daryaganj here were allegedly gunned down by a colleague in what is being described as yet another case of fratricide.

Constable Nari Lepcha, who was injured in the incident, has been finally identified by the police as the main culprit.

He was rushed to the nearby LNJP Hospital where during sustained interrogation by the police he allegedly unfolded the mystery shrouding the gruesome murder of the five, said DCP (Central) Alok Kumar in a press conference here today.

Initially Lepcha tried to mislead the investigating team with the popping of the name of another constable J.B. Subba, but when verified it was found that Subba was not present during the intervening night and was deployed elsewhere, said the DCP.

Lepcha allegedly opened fire with his service SLR, and has been detained for further interrogation by the Delhi police. Senior officers of the Sikkim police here have been informed as he is attached with the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) of the Sikkim police.

The dead have been identified as Lance Naik Vishal Tiwari, Lance Naik Kumar Basnett, constable Karma Bhutia, Lakshman Subba and Santabir Tamang.

“During the night, some colleagues of Lepcha, including Lance Naik Vishal Tiwari and constable Laxman Subba, tried to sodomise him under the influence of alcohol. In a bid to thwart their advances, he picked up his service SLR and killed three of them first. Constable Laxman Subba tried to counter-attack with an axe lying beneath. In the scuffle, Lepcha also got injured but he finally managed to kill the remaining two colleagues with the help of the SLR and the axe,” the DCP added.

The police said Lepcha was being questioned by a joint team of senior Delhi police and Sikkim police officers.

The bank is located near the Golcha cinema hall and is right opposite the office of the deputy commissioner of police, Central district.

“We got a call about the firing in the bank at 4.52 am. When police teams reached the spot, five personnel of the IRB of the Sikkim police were found dead,” the DCP said.

Senior police officers said the suspect did not offer any resistance when he was taken into custody. His service rifle had been seized and sent for forensic examination.

The early morning firing in the heart of the capital caused considerable panic among early risers, particularly newspaper vendors who collect there in large numbers to receive their supplies from agents. Initially, many of them thought that an attempt was being made to loot the bank. None of them, however, wanted to take the risk of going near the spot. It was only when the police arrived that they found that it was case of fratricide.

There has been a rapid increase in the number of fratricide cases in various police and security forces because of the increasing stress levels. Most of the incidents of fratricide have occurred among the personnel of forces posted for long periods in strife-ridden areas like Jammu and Kashmir and Assam.

Concerned over the increase in such cases, the police and the security forces have adopted a number of measures like regular yoga, leave for recreation and periodic pep talk by experts.



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