Telangana

Minister fires police weapon into air at Independence Day celebrations 

Minister V. Srinivas Goud firing a police weapon into the air in the Independence Day celebration event held in Mahbubnagar on Saturday.

Minister V. Srinivas Goud firing a police weapon into the air in the Independence Day celebration event held in Mahbubnagar on Saturday. | Photo Credit: ARRANGEMENT

Tourism and Sports Minister V. Srinivas Goud opened fire into the air, using a police weapon, during a rally as part of the Independence Day celebrations in Mahabubnagar, his Assembly constituency, on Saturday.

The scene captured on camera was shared on Twitter by Mr. Goud himself. Videos of the act, in which District Superintendent of Police R. Venkateswarlu along with his staff were seen encouraging the Minister, that went viral instantly drew wide criticism raising questions whether if it was even legal.

The incident took place in Mahabubnagar district headquarters on Saturday afternoon. The Minister, the police and locals, as part of Telangana’s Swatantra Bharata Vajrotsavalu, took out a freedom rally with tricolour flags from the Zilla Parishad grounds till the Tank Bund and the firing into the air was to inaugurate the freedom event.

‘Not a real gun’

Mr. Goud responded to questions from media persons and refuted versions that it was a self-loading rifle (SLR) and it had live ammunition.

“It was only celebratory firing to inaugurate the rally, like I had inaugurated some events as the Sports Minister. The SP gave it to me saying it's not a real gun although it looks like one, and it had only rubber bullets,” the Minister said.

Mr. Goud also added that he was a member of the National Rifle Association of India and he was well aware of the Arms rules. Addressing media persons in Hyderabad too, he said: “the gun was with blank ammunition, and making the particular video viral was malicious promotion by certain vested groups.”

Meanwhile, a video of the Minister firing into the air with an identical weapon on Thursday during a related event was also widely circulated.

It was INSAS rifle: SP

Mahabubnagar Superintendent of Police R. Venkateswarlu, when contacted by The Hindu, explained that the weapon was an INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) rifle and it was with blank ammunition.

“The weapon did not have any live ammunition and it was not at all misused. There was nearly 20,000 crowd participating in the event, and the firing was only ceremonial in nature,” he added.


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Printable version | Aug 28, 2022 1:18:21 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/minister-fires-police-weapon-into-air-at-independence-day-celebrations/article65765838.ece