Armed, unstable youth fights police trying to help him

Lucknow, Feb 19 (IANS) A mentally unstable youth, who locked himself in a room in his house here Wednesday, on Friday continued to battle policemen trying to get him out for over 24 hours. The suicidal 27-year-old has been firing at the police, who now plan to sedate him.

Shamim alias Raju, son of a doctor in Bakshi-ka-Talab area on the outskirts of Lucknow, has locked himself up since Wednesday night, police said. His father Shabeer Ahmad called the police Thursday morning when Raju refused to open the door and a few constables headed by an inspector were sent to get him out.

But Raju began firing at everyone, including security personnel, friends and relatives, who tried to approach him. He has so far fired at least 18 rounds from his father’s double-barrel licensed gun, injuring two policemen, including an inspector, an official said.

‘We have learnt that the youth is mentally unstable…He has a phobia that people, including his relatives, will harm him,’ Superintendent of Police (rural) Ashok Prasad told reporters.

‘Around two years ago, the youth had a similar depressive attack,’ he said.

Police tried to administer sedatives to him by mixing it in his food and drink, but all attempts proved futile as he refused to accept them.

Now the police are planning to administer some aneasthetic in a gaseous form.

‘After consulting a group of medical experts, we would use some drugs that would be released in gaseous form inside the room,’ Deputy Inspector General (Lucknow range) Rajiv Krishna told reporters.

‘Our foremost priority is to take Raju out without doing any harm…He is not a criminal. He is a patient. We need to take full care of him,’ he added.

Anaesthetic in gaseous form would be injected through holes drilled in the ceiling of the room, police said.

Raju has not made any demand, is suicidal and is not willing to talk to anyone.

‘Raju is saying he will kill himself and others…we fear his suicidal tendencies could increase with the passage of time,’ said Krishna.

‘According to our estimate, Raju still possesses 8-10 live cartridges,’ he added.

Raju also set some of his clothes on fire and fired four rounds Friday morning at fire-fighters and security personnel who tried to douse the blaze.

Raju’s relatives agree that he is ‘mentally unstable’, but haven’t given any specific reason for it. But Raju’s neighbours and friends say he went into depression a few years ago after he was apparently not allowed to pursue the career of his choice.

‘Raju, who did brilliantly in his M.Sc (Maths), wanted to join civil services. However, his family made him take up teaching,’ his friend Pawan Singh told reporters.

‘Recently he had appeared in the NET (National Entrance Test) exams, but could not qualify. At present, he is pursuing B.Ed from an institute in Ghaziabad,’ Singh added.

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