CISF head constable Akshay Kumar Mishra, who had allegedly gunned down a colleague and injured another in the Indian Museum compound on Saturday evening, has purportedly told police after his arrest that he was mentally tortured by four CISF personnel.
Among the four who he said tortured him were the one who died and the one who was injured.
Mishra, 43, who was in charge of the armoury in the CISF unit at the museum, has purportedly said the four would harass him mentally by circulating one of his photographs that had been clicked while he had allegedly dozed off during duty hours.
However, some people in Mishra’s native village in Odisha said on Sunday Mishra had some issues with superiors over leave.
Police officers who are probing the case said that according to their findings, Mishra was on leave for “around a month” after his father’s death on April 26.
“We have found that Mishra was reluctant to join Amarnath Yatra duty, but had to leave for Jammu and Kashmir on April 18. He reached there on April 21, after which his father died in his hometown on April 26. He was granted leave the same day and he left Jammu and Kashmir for Odisha,” an officer in Kolkata police’s detective department said.
On Sunday evening, Mishra had snatched an AK-47 rifle from line sentry head constable S.K. Morthi and fired 15 bullets, killing assistant sub-inspector Ranjit Kumar Sarangi, 58, and injuring assistant commandant Subir Ghosh, 59.
The post-mortem on Sarangi’s body revealed that three bullets had hit him on his face, left arm and back of the chest. All three had exited perforating the body. He had multiple fractures on his left hand and left ribs, police said. There were also bruises on his left shoulder and an injury on his left eyebrow.
Residents of Machhia in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district, the native village of Mishra, felt he might have acted out of desperation following differences over the approval of his leave extension.
“We were shocked to hear about it. He is not that type of person. It’s out of sheer frustration and anger that he fired at his seniors indiscriminately,” said Prashant Kumar Mishra, a relative of Mishra.
“Akshay’s father, Umesh Chandra Mishra, passed away on April 26. After getting the news, he rushed to the village to attend the rituals. The body was cremated in Puri. But on the 10th day of the rituals, another tragedy struck his family. His Bada Baba (father’s elder brother) passed away on May 5. He was crestfallen,” Prashant told The Telegraph.
“In order to attend the rituals, of his father and Bada Baba, he stayed back in the village for another 10 days. He had sought an extension of his leave,” he said.
“We had noticed his arguments with seniors over the phone on the issue of leave extension. He insisted his leave be extended. We have no idea whether it was extended or not,” said Prashant.
Prashant said Mishra might have stayed for a few more days with his wife and children at Dhenkanal town (15km from the village) as he felt distraught after the death of two elders in the family.
Senior CISF officers said there were “no pending leave requests” from Mishra. “We are extremely shocked by his deviant and unprovoked behaviour. He was one of the very good performers who was given important assignments. Had there been any background of problems or complaints from him, he would not have been given such an important duty,” the officer said.
Mishra, who was arrested by officers of New Market police station, has been charged under IPC sections related to murder, attempt to murder, theft and sections of the arms act.
He was produced in court on Sunday and remanded in police custody till August 18.
Later, on Sunday evening, after Mishra was taken to police custody, he purportedly told officers that he was “dissatisfied” with his posting at Indian Museum.
“According to him, getting him posted in the armoury was a conspiracy against him. He thinks he had been deliberately posted in the armoury so he could be held responsible for a mistake,” an officer in Kolkata police said.