Bangalore: It was a stray bullet that injured Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s disciple on May 30 at the Art of Living Centre on Kanakapura Road, said director general of police (DGP) Ajai Kumar Singh on Saturday.Dismissing speculation that the gun was aimed at Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Singh said the bullet was fired by the owner of a farm located opposite to the Art of Living ashram. The farm-owner, Mahadeva Prasad, chairman of Dr Ambedkar Dental College, claimed he was trying to ward off stray dogs from his farm.
“We have gone through all angles in the case and there is nothing to prove a conspiracy. The person who fired the bullet is Mahadeva Prasad, a resident of JP Nagar. He fired his licensed .32 revolver at stray dogs,” said Singh.
Prasad rears sheep and maintains a poultry farm. Stray dogs attacked a sheep on his farm and he was keeping watch. On May 30, as Prasad and his family were readying to return to their JP Nagar residence, he saw stray dogs and fired two rounds in the direction of Kanakapura Road. This scared the dogs away. Later, while driving towards Kanakapura Road, Prasad saw another dog and fired the gun again. He then got into the car and drove away, said Singh.
“The ashram is situated across Kanakapura Road and opposite the farmhouse. To reach the farmhouse, one has to take a left turn in front of the ashram gate and drive on an unpaved road,” said Singh. The police checked Google Maps to ascertain the bullet’s various trajectories before injuring Vinay Kumar, who was standing near the Yagashala in the ashram. “BA Mahesh, SP (Bangalore Rural), tracked the trajectory from the farmhouse to the Yagashala. When we checked on the people residing opposite the ashram, we found Prasad had an arms licence,” added Singh.
On questioning Prasad, the police learned he had fired three rounds on May 30. “His weapon and the bullet were checked. It was confirmed that the bullet that injured Vinay Kumar was fired from Prasad’s weapon,” said Singh. Furthermore, the distance travelled by the bullet, its gradient and time of firing matched.
By the time the bullet reached the ashram, it had lost velocity to cause injury, said Singh. From the spot where he fired his revolver, Prasad could only see the ashram gates and not the area where the satsang was held.Two empty cartridges were found near the farmhouse, said Singh.
The police claim there is no prima facie case against Prasad as he only wanted to ward off dogs. “There was no dispute between Prasad and the ashram. We will check further and register a case of accidental firing, if necessary. A case was registered at Thalaghattapura police station under the Indian Arms Act, besides a case of attempt to murder. But now, the local police, in all probability, will close the case,” added Singh.
Investigations reveal that Prasad’s gun was factory-made and was licensed many years ago. The police have checked up on landowners around the ashram and who hold.32 gun licences and their statements recorded, said the police.
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