A 52-year-old Home Guard personnel was shot dead in a police encounter after he indiscriminately fired many rounds in a fit of "mental distress", leading to an initial impression that it was a naxal attack, a senior official said on Tuesday.
Manavendra Singh Dhillon, Superintendent of Police, Munger, said the incident took place at an outpost in Bariarpur police station area, where sounds of gunshots were heard past midnight on Monday.
"We were told by the police station concerned that a suspected naxal attack has taken place and gunshots were being fired in the thick of the dark. We rushed, with a heavy contingent, to the site of incident which is surrounded by dense forests and vulnerable to Maoists'' strikes," he said.
"Retaliatory fire began from our side. In course of time, we learnt that it was Home Guard jawan Mohd Zahid who was firing the shots. Those who knew him well said he had been in mental distress for some time," the SP added.
The fusillade stopped after firing from the other side ended. Zahid's bullet-riddled body was found lying in a pool of blood inside an open roof lavatory close to the outpost from where he had been firing in the air, said Mr Dhillon.
The body was sent for post-mortem and further investigations were underway, he added.