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Jail firing spree

Darjeeling, Jan. 21: A constable at Darjeeling jail fired seven rounds sporadically for three hours early today from the terrace of his quarters before shooting himself dead.

Shyamal Barma, 42, a Cooch Behar resident, had told superintendent Thupden Rapchi Bhutia after returning from home on Sunday that he was depressed and feeling irritated on hearing people speak.

Around 1.30am, Barma went up to the terrace of the quarters, near the boundary wall of the correctional home, and fired whenever he noticed somebody moving in front of the three-storeyed building.

When three constables tried to enter the building, Barma fired at them but missed. A bullet got lodged in the wall of an empty jail cell.

Jail employees informed the nearby police lines. Soon, personnel arrived but nobody dared go near the quarters.

When the personnel did not hear gunshots for some time, they went up to the terrace at 4am and found Barma lying dead in a pool of blood.