Five die as BSF jawan opens fire in Amritsar camp

The jawan who opened fire was among the five personnel killed

Amritsar: A Border Security Force (BSF) jawan allegedly opened fire indiscriminately at its camp here on Sunday, leaving four of his colleagues dead and another critically injured, before falling to a bullet, officials said.

The fratricidal incident took place between 9:30 AM and 9:45 AM in the camp of the 144th battalion in the Khasa area of the district, about 12-13 km short of the Attari-Wagah crossing along the India-Pakistan international border, an officer said.

The accused constable, Sateppa S K, 35, hailed from Karnataka.

Officials said he was apparently upset about his duty hours and even fired shots at the vehicle of a second-in-command rank officer that was parked on the campus.

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, Asif Jalal, who last week took over as the BSF Inspector General 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.

Sateppa had reported feeling unwell last night and was admitted to a nearby private hospital.

"This morning, he informed the doctors that he was well and that he should be discharged. After entering the camp, he took his weapon from the armoury and began shooting indiscriminately," an officer said.

A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the facts related to the unfortunate incident in which five BSF troops were killed at the force camp in Amritsar, a BSF spokesperson said.

The victims include personnel in the ranks of constable and head constable.

The sixth jawan is critical and is admitted to a hospital where he was being operated upon, the officials said, adding that every effort was being made to save him.

Officials said they are speaking to the family members of Sateppa to understand whether he had some family issues.

“The dead have been identified - Constable Sateppa S K - Karnataka, HC (head constable) Ram Binod from Bihar, HC Toraskar D S from Maharashtra, HC Rattan Singh from J&K and HC Baljinder Kumar from Haryana's Panipat," Senior Superintendent of Police Amritsar (Rural) Deepak Hilori said.

The SSP said an FIR has also been lodged against the Sateppa on the basis of statement given to Police by BSF commandant S K Sharma.

To a query on the death the accused constable, the SSP said, “When Sateppa was firing towards his colleagues, at that time a bullet also hit him. It is not clear that whether he was killed by his own bullet or from someone else's".

He said more facts are expected to come to light after the autopsy and the report of forensic experts.

Senior officers of the border force and Punjab Police had reached the spot soon after the incident, officials said.

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