The opposition BJP in Telangana has demanded that Prohibition and Excise Minister V. Srinivas Goud be dropped from the state Cabinet for firing in the air from a service weapon belonging to a policeman during a freedom rally as part of the ongoing celebrations to mark 75 years of Independence on Saturday.
BJP MLA Raghunandan Rao also demanded that the minister be booked for violating law.
During the event in Mahbubnagar on Saturday, the minister had taken a self-loading loading rife (SLR) from his security guard and opened fire in the air to launch the rally.
Wanting to know if the minister has gun licence, Rao ridiculed Srinivas’ clarification that he had fired a rubber bullet.
“The minister has been provided security due to threat to his life. If he says it was a rubber bullet, all the MLAs have to rethink about the security provided to them,” he said.
The BJP lawmaker demanded that the Director General of Police (DGP) should clarify if it was a rubber bullet or a real one.
Rao also sought a judicial probe into the matter.
Stating that opening fire in a public place is illegal, he questioned the silence of DGP Mahender Reddy, saying though the minister fired in the presence of the district superintendent of police, neither a case has been booked, nor the gun has been seized.
Urging the DGP to act impartially, the MLA demanded that the gun be immediately sent to the forensic lab for analysis.
Rao wondered if the DGP is silent because he expects advisor’s post after retirement.
The BJP leader said if the government fails to act on the issue, he would file a case in the high court.
The video of the minister firing in the air had gone viral on social media.
Meanwhile, reacting to the criticism from various quarters, Goud said that he only fired a rubber bullet.
“I opened fire using a rubber bullet and I have a licence to operate weapons,” he said.