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Finally, a shrink for smiling assassin

Mumbai, May 28: The jigsaw pieces are falling into place. When Raj Namdev killed his superior in the Central Industrial Security Force in a flash of righteous anger, there was one thing uppermost on his mind: he was a martyr avenging the humiliation of other constables in the force.

Namdev, the CISF constable who gunned down deputy commandant A.R. Karandikar and held six colleagues hostage in a security hold at Mumbai’s Chattrapati Shivaji International airport on Saturday, was today taken for a psychiatric test after he told his friends that he had killed for them.

The constable, who is being held by police after he surrendered at the end of a harrowing six-hour drama, reportedly told three of his friends from the force that though he had killed his senior for them, no one was willing to help him.

Namdev is unaware that the CISF constabulary empathises with him, even though they condemn the attack on Karandikar.

A senior police official interrogating Namdev said: “While he was being interrogated, he expressed a wish to meet some of his friends who are with the CISF. We granted permission thinking it would help get additional inputs in the case. But when his friends came he seemed to be very angry with them. He told them: ‘Maine ye sab tum logon ke liye kiya, lekin tum logon ne mere liye kuch nahin kiya (I did this for you, but you have done nothing for me)’.”

It became necessary to send Namdev to a psychiatrist after his outburst, he said.

Namdev reportedly told his friends, constables Ashok Kumar Sharma, Jagdish Raj and Ganpat Kagnikar, he should have killed himself after the shootout and that he regretted having surrendered.

When deputy commissioner of police Bipin Bihari went to talk to him during the hostage drama, Namdev put his gun to his head. It was only when Bihari said Namdev would be heard and that his parents would be distraught if he killed himself, that the constable relented. Bihari told him: “Kill me if you have to, but don’t harm yourself. It is my failure that I haven’t been able to convince you to do what is best for you.’’

The police said Namdev’s belief that he was speaking on behalf of the CISF and that he was a martyr to the constabulary’s cause explains why he flashed a victory sign after surrendering.

A policeman said: “Namdev tells whoever is willing to listen that what he did will improve the CISF. It was as if he was representing the grievances of an entire force. He refuses to show any sign of guilt or remorse.’’

But Namdev’s family continue to ascribe his murderous attack to the harassment meted out to him by his superiors. In a statement, Namdev’s younger sister, Santoshi, said the harassment was so severe that her brother had contemplated suicide. Namdev’s father, Lalit Prasad, and his brother are with the CISF.

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