A junior constable of the West Bengal police started firing indiscriminately from on top of a building in the Jhargram police lines around 1 pm today till he finally dropped his weapon and surrendered just after 9.
No one was injured in the incident or taken hostage. But why constable took such an extreme step is not clear.
It took hours of persuasion by his parents over the cell phone and a megaphone to finally get the father of two young children to see sense.
The junior constable is around 40 years old. His family was brought to Jhargram by the police from their village in Purulia district to help.
Around 9:10 pm, the constable finally left his self-loading rifle on the roof where he had spent 8 hours and climbed down and emerged from the building unarmed. He was allowed a brief meeting with his family before being whisked off by police.
The junior constable was on duty reportedly at the armoury near a brand-new office in the police line complex. Just before 1 pm, he reportedly grabbed 120 bullets from the custody of fellow police on duty and frightened them into running away. Some sources claim he fired at the two colleagues to make them run for their lives.
Then with his SLR, he kept firing sporadically. There was no target as people had fled outside the complex in terror.
A huge police force cordoned off the area as the constable climbed to the roof. He was too far away from the police to either fire at them or be fired at.
Several senior officers rushed to the spot and tried to open a dialogue. Nothing worked.
Senior police officers, including Jhargram police superintendent Amit Kumar Bharat Rathod, were present on the spot right through the dramatic developments.