|Illustration by Suman Chowdhury
Agartala, Aug. 21: A security officer in his late twenties shot dead a colleague who had been accusing him of stealing his mobile before turning the gun on himself at a West Tripura camp early this morning.
Subrata Sukladas, a special police officer (SPO) at Hazaripara under Kalyanpur police station, lost his mobile phone two days ago and had been suspecting fellow officer Arun Dutta, 27, of having stolen the phone.
Sukladas questioned Dutta about the phone on several occasions and explained how the set was the sole means of communicating with his family.
Around 8 this morning, Sukladas again confronted Dutta and asked him about the phone.
Questions soon turned to abuse, with Sukladas indirectly accusing his colleague of theft.
When a humiliated Dutta suddenly could take it no more, he picked up his self-loading rifle and shot Sukladas from point blank range.
Before the other officers at the camp could react, Dutta shot himself in the head and died instantly.
The superintendent of police (West), G.S. Rao rushed to the camp, which was set up to fight insurgency at the grassroots level, and ordered an investigation.
“The matter will be routinely investigated but it is really unfortunate that two valuable lives were lost over a matter as trivial as the loss of a mobile set,” Rao said.
He said soon after the force’s inception in 2002, a number of jawans had been involved in unsavoury incidents but over the past few years they had become disciplined and dedicated.
“On many occasions they did exceedingly well in fighting militants and gathering intelligence inputs,” Rao said.