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‘Killer’ Indian soldier wanted to meet dying mother, but ‘could not get’ leave

FIROZABAD: Indian army soldier who gunned down four fellow troopers couple of days at a military camp wanted to meet his ailing mother but he could not get leaves for the visit.

According to Times of India report citing family members of the soldier, Sanat Kumar wanted to see his septuagenarian mother, who asked him to meet her before she passed away.

The 35-year-old, who joined the force in September 2001, was said to be of a peaceful nature but sometimes suffered mood swings after he sustained head injury in 2011 from shrapnel in a bomb blast while on duty.

Sanat Kumar Indian soldier
Sanat Kumar. Photo by TOI

India’s security forces, often working away from home for months, have historically had a high incidence of suicides and killings linked to long hours, poor working conditions and inadequate time off.

Hailing from Firozabad district, Sanat is the eldest of three brothers, with the other two in the army.

The TOI report says that Sanat’s wife and two sons are currently living in government accommodations in Allahabad. His son Shivank Kumar, 15, said, “We were waiting for him to get leave so we could visit our grandmother. The weapon (AK-47) recovered from my father was of a deceased colleague. There is a high possibility that he took the extreme step in self defence.”

After completing his shift at 4:30 pm and submitting his INSAS rifle to the battalion armory, Sanat had called his wife Sanju Devi and did not show any sign of stress. At 5 pm, the accused allegedly shot his colleagues, the report adds.

Chhattisgarh’s chief minister took to Twitter to condemn the killing of the CRPF soldiers, who are deployed for counter-insurgency operations.

The state is a hotbed of a Maoist insurgency.

 

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