M.T. Shiva Kumar

Hundreds of bullets they bought are unaccounted for

Govardhan Murthy, brothers bought over 700 bullets

Police to probe whether ammunition was misused

BANGALORE: Film producer Govardhan Murthy, who was arrested for allegedly shooting actor Vinod Kumar, had bought 240 bullets for his licensed pistol. In 10 months he fired nearly 200 of them. Two of his brothers also obtained gun licences and purchased over 500 bullets.

With hundreds of those bullets unaccounted for, the Sampigehalli subdivision police have decided to conduct an inquiry into the possible misuse of bullets by Govardhan Murthy, and his brothers, Channakeshava and Sampangi, to whom notices have been issued asking them to produce their weapons and bullets. “Govardhan applied for a gun licence in 2007, and he was permitted to purchase a .32 pistol. According to the Indian Arms Act, 1959, license-holders should register themselves with the Deputy Commissioner of the district in order to purchase bullets. Also, the bullets should not be misused. The licence-holders should produce documents to the district administration or the Police Department whenever they are instructed to,” a Deputy Commissioner of Police told The Hindu.

“We recovered two weapons, including an unlicensed one, from the accused after he was arrested in Kundanur village in Kerala. During the investigationwe were able to recover just 40 of the 240 bullets that he had bought. In 10 months he had fired around 200 bullets,” the officer said.

Murthy, a resident of Bilishivale Doddagubbi near Bagalur, has three brothers. All of them deal in land and property development. Mr. Channakeshava and Mr. Sampangi have obtained gun licences and bought 500 bullets from licensed weapons dealers. Except Mr. Channakeshava, there are several criminal charges against the other three brothers. Another officer said that the ongoing investigation had revealed that Govardhan threatened farmers and other landowners at gunpoint to sell their property, around Bagalur and Hoskote, to him.

Yet another officer said that Govardhan used to show off his ‘marksmanship’ in front of employees and friends. Even when drunk Govardhan used to fire randomly. The Sampigehalli subdivision police have received several complaints against his two of Govardhan’s brothers. “We are investigating the criminal antecedents of the accused Govardhan and his brothers. We issued notices to Channakeshava and Sampangi and ordered them to produce their weapons and bullets,” he said.