Hyderabad: Minister V. Srinivas Goud firing a police weapon into the air at Mahbubnagar on Saturday was met with swift condemnation from several political leaders who described his actions as irresponsible and dangerous.
BJP national vice-president D.K. Aruna demanded that Goud be immediately dismissed from the Cabinet, and wondered if the police were doing its job at all. “It is shameful that he claims he is the sports minister and so he can shoot a rubber bullet into the air,” she said, adding that it was surprising that the minister’s security personnel carried rifles with rubber bullets.
Former National Disaster Management Authority vice-chairman Marri Shashidhar Reddy, said Goud’s action smacked of gross indiscretion, and his incompetency to be a minister. Mocking Goud, Shashidhar Reddy said the minister, “if he gets properly trained, he might even win a medal or two for the country in Asian Games.” There are rules and even policemen cannot use firearms indiscriminately, Shashidhar Reddy, said.
Former minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir condemned Goud and said, “Ironically, he is the same person who made fake complaints against political rivals citing threat to his life. The question of whether the bullet being original or not is a secondary, but this could have harmed anyone standing close by,” he said.
Bakka Judson, AICC member, said, “It is shameful for the minister to say ‘I shot a rubber bullet. I am a member of the rifle association. The SP himself gave me the gun’. If it were so, even the SP should be prosecuted.”
What the Arms Act says: According the Indian Arms Act, forcefully taking a firearm from the police or armed forces is punishable with imprisonment of between 10 years and life, along with a fine.
Using firearms in a celebratory gunfire in public gathering, which endangers human life or personal safety of others, is punishable with imprisonment of up to two years, or fine of up to Rs 1 lakh, or both.
‘Firearms’ means weapon of any description designed or adapted to discharge a projectile or projectiles of any kind by the action of any explosive or other forms of energy, includes designed for discharge of any noxious liquid, gas or diminish the noise or flash caused by the firing thereof...