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BSF constable fires at colleagues, five killed

Assailant among dead

BSF constable fires at colleagues, five killed

An injured BSF jawan at a hospital in Amritsar on Sunday. PTI



Tribune News Service

GS PAUL

Amritsar, March 6

A BSF constable allegedly opened fire indiscriminately at the force’s headquarters here on Sunday, leaving four of his colleagues dead, before falling to a bullet, officials said.

BSF’s Punjab Frontier IG Asif Jalal said the cause of the incident in Khasa HQ, 15 km short of the Attari-Wagah border, this morning was yet to be ascertained. An FIR under Sections 302 and 307 of the IPC and Section 27 of the Arms Act had been registered with Gharinda Police Station.

Between 9.45 am and 10.15 am, BSF constable Setteppa S Kilaragi of 114 Battalion opened fire indiscriminately from his duty weapon on his unarmed colleagues in the duty room and barracks, leaving several injured. The injured were shifted immediately to a nearby private hospital. By 11 am, five of them were declared dead, including accused constable Setteppa, who belonged to Karnataka. The other four killed in the incident were all head constables —— Ram Binod from Bihar, Toraskar DS from Maharashtra, Rattan Chand from J&K and Baljinder Kumar from Haryana’s Panipat.

Another constable Nihal Singh, who received bullet injuries, is now out of danger.

Sources said the accused was apparently upset about his duty hours. It was not clear if he shot himself or was fired upon by others. “It could be a ricochet that killed the accused. It is unclear as of now,” a senior officer said.

Speaking to reporters, Jalal, who last week took over as the BSF IG for Punjab, denied that there was any enmity or duty-related issue. He said the police and his force were investigating the cause of the incident.

An inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the facts, a BSF spokesperson said.

The accused first shot duty clerk Toraskar, reportedly after a verbal duel over his duty schedule. Then he came out of the duty room and moved towards the barracks, and opened fire at his unarmed colleagues.

When his ammunition was exhausted, he was overpowered by the troops. As he too was bleeding profusely, he was given first aid before he was moved out with other injured jawans to a private hospital.

He reportedly also fired on the vehicle of officiating commandant Satish Mishra, who came to control the situation. The officer escaped unhurt.

Sources said Setteppa was on guard duty last night. He returned to the barracks around 3 am after his duty but was again detailed for some escort duty in the morning. That is when he had a verbal duel with his colleagues that turned ugly.

He was recently posted to Amritsar from border duty, as he was not keeping well and undergoing some medical treatment, said the sources.

Not related to duty hours: BSF IG

  • Around 10 am on Sunday, BSF constable Setteppa S Kilaragi opened fire indiscriminately from his duty weapon on his unarmed colleagues
  • Though sources say the accused was apparently upset about his duty hours, the BSF denies there was any enmity or duty-related issue

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