Assam Rifles trooper at large after killing six colleagues in Manipur

January 22nd, 2009 - 11:13 am ICT by IANS  

Imphal, Jan 22 (IANS) A paramilitary Assam Rifles trooper who shot dead six of his colleagues in Manipur is at large and security forces have launched a massive hunt to apprehend him, officials said Thursday.”Efforts are on to nab him, but the trooper is still at large after he fled the camp with his service weapon (an assault rifle) late Wednesday,” Major Shamser Jung, a defence spokesman, told IANS.

The tribal trooper hailing from Nagaland ran amok after an altercation with an officer at Ukhrul, about 90 km from Manipur state capital Imphal.

“The trooper had a verbal argument with a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and suddenly he picked up his service weapon (an assault rifle) and started firing indiscriminately, killing the officer on the spot,” Jung said.

The irate trooper then went berserk and started firing on other colleagues who came out from their barracks hearing gunshots.

“The trooper sprayed bullets on a group of other colleagues, killing five more before fleeing the area with the weapon. We don’t really know what led to this or what the reasons were for the verbal argument,” the official said.

The Assam Rifles is a paramilitary force currently engaged in counter insurgency operations in Manipur, bordering Myanmar, with the state home to at least 19 rebel armies with demands ranging from independence to greater autonomy.

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