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Saturday, December 02, 2000

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Guard shot at in Navy chief's house

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, DEC. 1. A naval commando was shot at by an armed intruder at the official residence of the Navy Chief, Admiral Sushil Kumar, in the high-security Rajaji Marg area here early today.

Commando Satvir Singh was on patrol duty inside the sprawling ``Naval House'', when he spotted a man in blue jacket walking around stealthily.

Singh shouted out and asked the man to stop and identify himself. The time was around 0050 hours. The intruder whipped out a revolver and fired at him. The first shot missed aim and the second bullet hit him in the left thigh, and he fell down. But, he recovered in a flash and fired back at the fleeing figure who, however, escaped. Commander Singh is undergoing treatment in hospital.

The shots had by then awakened the rest of the household including Admiral Sushil Kumar and his wife, Vinita. Minutes earlier, Commando Singh had asked his colleague, Commando Vinod Naik, also on patrol duty, to wake up the others slated for the next shift.

A metre-long wire and parts of a detonator fuse, ``Cordex'' kept in a polythene bag were found on the grass, a little away from where the firing took place. As many as 21 empty bullet shells were recovered later but the shell of the bullet which pierced Commando Singh's thigh could not be traced.

The Naval House is located less than one km from the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee's residence. Other VIPs including the Army Chief and the former Prime Minister, Mr. V.P. Singh, also reside on the same street.

Commando Singh was rushed to the Navy Hospital and subsequently shifted to Army Base Hospital at Delhi Cantonment, where he is being treated under heavy security. His condition had stabilised by evening.

Soon after the incident, senior police officials rushed to the spot, accompanied by personnel from Delhi police's crime branch, the bomb disposal squad and the dog squad. Members from intelligence agencies also reached the house soon after.

Sources said police personnel were not allowed immediate entry into the Naval House. They had to wait for a few hours before finally being allowed in early in the morning. A case was lodged at the Tughlaq Road police station.

Senior police officers were tightlipped about the incident.

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