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Jawan guns down jawan at embassy

New Delhi, Jan. 18: Two jawans of the Central Industrial Security Force posted at the Indian embassy in Kathmandu were killed and another was injured when a colleague opened fire on them following an 'altercation' early this morning.

Indian officials in Kathmandu and Delhi said preliminary investigation suggested the 'altercation' was a sequel to an argument that the jawans had last night. The shooting took place in their living quarters inside the embassy.

Around 5 am, a fight broke out among the guards on the embassy premises. Ravinder Rana allegedly opened fire, killing T. Shanker and R. Kanan ' both from Tamil Nadu ' and injuring Videsh Dutta. Embassy employees rushed to the guards' quarters on hearing the shots and took Dutta to a local hospital.

Dutta was in stable condition in a hospital in Kathmandu, said Sanjay Varma, counsellor, press and information, at the mission.

Rana has been placed under detention in the embassy and will be formally charged and arrested after he is brought back to India. The bodies are being sent to Delhi.

The incident comes within days of the kidnapping of 14 Indian army jawans by Maoist rebels. Though they were released after 48 hours in captivity, embassy officials are being cautious while dealing with this morning's shooting.

'There is no involvement of any outsider in the shootout so far,' foreign ministry spokesperson Navtej Sarna told reporters here this afternoon.

Sources said the fight between the guards could have been over the duty roster or something more trivial.

An official of deputy inspector-general rank has left for Kathmandu to investigate the shooting and submit a report to CISF director-general K.M. Singh for preparing a chargesheet against constable Rana.

Earlier, jawans from different paramilitary wings would be deployed at the Indian embassy in Kathmandu. For the past one-and-a-half years, 20 CISF jawans have been posted there for guarding the sprawling mission and its properties.

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