The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Homesick jawan in Namdev rerun with arms & ammo

Jamshedpur, June 4: Thirty-two-year-old Tajender Singh did a Raj Namdev last evening. Only, the Central Industrial Security Force jawan let his mouth do the talking, not his gun.

The bloodspill in the Mumbai airport came perilously close to being repeated in the Kiriburu mining area of West Singbhum district when a homesick Singh pointed his self-loading rifle at his colleague, D. Hembram, and ordered him to hand over his SLR.

It was 6 pm and the two were guarding the storeroom where explosives are kept for use in the mines. The frightened Hembram obeyed without a word, averting what could have erupted into a crisis similar to the one that rocked the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport recently when CISF jawan Namdev shot dead his superior after being denied leave.

Armed with the two SLRs and about 100 live cartridges, Singh then set upon his mission — to reach home in Punjab and rejoin his parents, wife and child after a long time. He did not succeed as police caught up with him early today. The Sikh jawan is now lodged in West Singhbhum jail.

Joint teams from the CISF and district police arrested him from a wagon of a goods train loaded with iron ore chips. Besides arms and ammunition and some clothes, they found Rs 5,000 in his possession.

An FIR has been lodged against Singh for “threatening to kill a CISF constable and running away with arms and ammunition”. CISF deputy commandant R.K. Yadav said senior officials of the force would reach Kiriburu to probe the incident, but did not comment on the episode.

Police sources said that Singh, after running away, entered the dense forest area of Saranda. He roamed the jungles all night before entering the wagon of the stranded goods train about 3 am.

CISF jawans had started searching for Singh since 7 last evening. They combed the entire area but in vain. At about 11:30, the local police, led by deputy inspector, Kiriburu range, H. Toppo, joined the CISF team.

“We searched for him in every possible location within Saranda. But he was nowhere to be found. Suddenly, we decided that we must search the wagons of the goods train. Fortunately, we found him inside a wagon. He was sleeping,” a senior police official said.

Preliminary investigations by the district police suggest that Singh was frustrated at staying away from home for a long time. He had joined the force about 11 years ago.

“Apparently, it seemed to us that he was longing for a posting in his home state. He had requested his superiors, during his posting at Bokaro Steel Plant, that he be posted in Punjab. But he was sent to Kiriburu recently after additional CISF companies were rushed following the abduction of four Steel Authority of India Limited officials from that place,” Toppo told The Telegraph.

According to the police, the six-foot-tall, well-built jawan “did not repent” for what he did last evening. They said Singh told them he was “desperate to go home” and hence “acted in such a fashion”.

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