Severe hunger, depression drive guard to fire 13 rounds

February 22nd, 2008 - 10:34 pm ICT by admin  


New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) Cracking up under severe hunger and depression, a security guard at a Maruti showroom in the capital fired 13 rounds from his rifle in the air and at a police squad that tried to stop him. No one was injured. The incident occurred around 3.10 a.m. in the Seemapuri area of northeast Delhi, when Kamruddin Khan, on guard duty on the roof of the Fair Deal Maruti Showroom on G.T. Road, fired from his single barrel rifle.

Khan, 45, who hails from Bharatpur in Rajasthan, had apparently not eaten properly for three days since he arrived in the capital from his hometown to take up the job. He was under tension and had not rested properly, a senior police official told IANS.

According to the police, Khan was standing on the roof of the building when he heard some “disturbance” below and fired some shots. Two guards were on duty at the time on the ground level of the showroom.

On hearing the gunshots, assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Devi Ram and constable Ashok, on night patrol, rushed to the spot. They found two men on the roof, with one holding a rifle, and around 50-60 labourers gathered below.

“Devi Ram and Ashok tried to dissuade Kamruddin, but he instead started firing at them. A bullet missed the ASI and hit their police motorbike,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northeast Delhi) Jaspal Singh told IANS.

“The policemen immediately informed the police control room (PCR) and their seniors. In between, the guard kept on firing. Eight PCR vans and many officials, including station house officers from three police stations, arrived at the scene within 10 minutes,” Singh said.

Singh, who was leading the police teams, said they tried every possible way to prevail upon the guard, but he continued firing at them.

Two bullets struck the PCR vans, inside which some policemen were taking cover. The police immediately cordoned off the area and asked the labourers to go back to their workplaces.

“We even fired a white light on him and made several announcements asking him to surrender. He was threatened with dire consequences, but he continued firing,” Singh said.

The drama ended only an hour later when three policemen - head constable Raj Kumar and constables Mahesh Kumar and Karamvir Singh - managed to enter the factory adjoining the showroom and climbed to the roof.

They then overpowered Khan, seized his weapon, and arrested him on charges of attempt to murder, assaulting public officials and the Arms Act. He was taken to the Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital for medical examination.

One single barrel gun, three live cartridges, four misfired cartridges, 13 empty cartridges and one cartridge belt were recovered from him.

“Kamruddin, during his interrogation, said he had joined the Fair Deal Maruti Showroom as security guard last week. In the morning he was told by another security guard that a thief was present on the road, so he fired some shots but thereafter he was overcome by depression and started firing continuously, even on police,” Singh added.

Khan told reporters later: “I was sleeping on the roof and was hungry. The other guard woke me up shouting ‘chor chor’ so I opened fire in tension. I would fire more bullets if I had more cartridges. I have no regret at what I did.”

This is the second incident within a week of policemen being fired at.

On Thursday, two unidentified motorcycle-riding men shot at police personnel in east Delhi. They escaped after a nearly half-an-hour chase. However, no one was injured in that incident.

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