Hyderabad: A semi-automatic assault rifle AK-47 that had gone missing from the Husnabad police station three years ago was found on Thursday — in the possession of a shepherd of Akkannapet village in Siddipet district, who fired it at a neighbour over a petty issue. Fortunately, no one was injured in the firing.
The shepherd, Devini Sadanandam, had a running dispute with his neighbor Gunti Gangaraji (32), from whom his family bought cement bricks to construct a common boundary.
Recently, Sadanandam’s wife Krishnaveni and Gan-garaju’s mother Yellavva had a heated argument on this same issue. Gangaraju took the matter up with Sadanandam on Thursday around noon, and threatened him with a sword.
That night around 9 pm, an infuriated Sadanandam took out the AK-47 and opened two rounds of fire on his neighbour’s house.
“Locals alerted me that Sadanandam was approaching my home with a gun, so we locked the doors from inside,” Gangaraju told the media. “I was about to turn off the lights when he saw through the window and fired at me. As I ducked to the ground, the bullet went over my head and hit the wall,” he explained.
Gangaraju escaped unhurt, while Sadanandam fled with the weapon.
Though the reports emerged that he was later taken into custody at Koheda, the police refused to confirm it.
“We had a petty issue over cement bricks for a compound wall,” Gangaraju said. “He was angry though we tried to talk to pacify him. Luckily, none of us suffered any injuries.”
Sadanandam was known for his hot temper in his village, and had left in 2000 only to return in 2010, after which he got married. He was a shepherd since.
The Siddipet police, investigating the attempt to murder, believe the rifle is the same as the one missing from the Husnabad police station in 2016. Sadanandam used to frequent this particular police station in 2016, in connection with a family dispute. This raised suspicion that Sadanandam might have gone underground during the decade away from home during which time he was trained to use the rifle. Police suspect he stole the gun from the police station.
“It could be the same weapon but it can only be verified after the accused is caught,” a senior police official told DC. “We cannot rule out the possibility that he picked up the weapon in a forested area.”
This is an embarrassment to the police, particularly on their investigation to recover the missing AK-47.
Siddipet in-charge commissioner and Kama-reddy SP N. Swetha Reddy said that special teams had been formed for the investigation. They comprise Husna-bad ACP Mahendar, Siddipet ACP (Traffic) Balaji, and Siddipet ACP Rameshwar.
They are also questioning Sadanandam and his family....