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Tuesday, September 29, 2009, Pervez Bari

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Bhopal: Mystery shrouds the death of a 50-year-old activist of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, (RSS), who died of gunshot during “Shastra Puja” (weapon worship) in a school building in Kotra Sultanabad locality here on September 28.


The incident occurred at Saraswati Vidya Mandir premises at about 9.45 am just before the Sangh's "Path Sanchalan" (parade) was about to begin. The deceased was present inside a room of the school where arms were being cleaned.


The police claimed that it was an accident, while the family members of the victim smell a foul play in the incident.


RSS sources claimed that as per rules, the firearms brought for Shastra puja should not have bullets. It was a major lacuna and is being investigated as how the loaded gun reached the venue.


However, Vijay Motwani, son of Naresh Motwani, alleged that Naresh had been killed by someone in the group he was sitting with. “He has been murdered. Someone among the group he was sitting with has committed this crime. Nobody tried to save his father and everyone said that they ran from the spot. Definitely, he has been killed. He did not carry any weapon. He always carried a stick along with him,” said Vijay.


Police officials investigating the case said they recovered an empty shell of a bullet from the spot. "Prima facie the recovered empty shell appears to be a 9 mm pistol," Bhopal ASP Ruchi Vardhan said.


Sources said, 9 mm is a prohibited bore unavailable for private use. Only the police and army can use this, sources maintained.


According to the police, the deceased Naresh Motwani was cleaning a gun during the annual ritual of ‘Shastra Puja’, when a bullet hit him near his neck. There were nearly 40-50 people present at the time of the incident but police was not able to identify or contact anyone so far. A case of death under Section 174 has been registered and further investigations are on.


Later, when he was rushed to Hamidia hospital where he was declared brought dead. The police are yet to identify from whose gun this bullet was fired.


On Dussehra festival, when demon King Ravana’s effigies are burnt, a lot of people worship their weapons as well as part of age-old Hindu ritual. The practice goes back to era of Mahabharat.


RSS Vibhag Sarsanghchalak Kantilal Chatar in a statement expressed grief over the death of Motwani in the accidental gunshot. He stated that it was a loss to the society and RSS. “We are with Motwani family in their moment of sorrow and provide all possible assistance to the police and administration in the death of Naresh Motwani,” he added.


Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee, (MPCC), has condemned the incident claiming that the RSS started doing this Shastra Puja in group only to spread terror in the society.


Meanwhile, MPCC has demanded that a case for violation of Arms Act should be registered against Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for firing with a pistol in air at a function on Monday.


State Congress Spokesman, Arvind Malaviya said that newspapers today carried a picture showing Chouhan shooting from a pistol.

Malaviya said that a revolver had been given to the Chief Minister at the time of the elections and he should clarify the name of the person who owned the pistol from which he fired at "Shastra poojan".


Chouhan should also clarify that pistol he fired with was licenced or not and if it was licenced, he should declare the name of license holder, he added.













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