Indian trooper arrested after opening fire and killing four comrades

NEW DELHI (AFP) - A paramilitary soldier has killed four of his comrades and injured another inside a camp in central India, an official said Sunday (Dec 10).

The trooper turned his gun on his fellow soldiers at around 5pm local time on Saturday (730pm Saturday Singapore time) in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh state.

The constable from India's paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) opened fire following a reported altercation.

"He fired on four of his CRPF colleagues, who died on the spot. Another one, an ASI (assistant sub-inspector), was injured in the incident," a Bijapur administrative official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A senior state police officer, Sundar Raj P., told local media late Saturday that "what happened, why he did it, under what circumstances - these are matters that are being investigated".

He said the officer, 35-year-old Sanath Kumar, was arrested and was being interrogated.

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.

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.

In January, a paramilitary soldier from one of India's elite security units shot dead four of his senior officers in an apparent row over leave.