Patna: Bihar policemen`s rifles failed to fire during a gun salute to revolutionary freedom fighter Khudiram Bose on his death anniversary Sunday, a police officer said.
Bose was hanged by the British on this day in 1908 in Bihar`s Muzaffarpur district. His 105th martyrdom day was a low-key affair in Muzaffarpur town, about 70 km from here.
In an embarrassment to the government, policemen who were to fire 21 rounds in the air as a mark of respect failed to fire even a single shot.
"Old rifles failed to fire despite repeated attempts," district police officer Vimal Kumar said.
Another official told IANS over telephone that the policemen were given not only old rifles but also old bullets.
"The bullets were about 25 years old," the official said.
Locals who gathered for the event were shocked.
The senior most government functionaries at the event were the district magistrate and police officers who paid floral tributes. This time, there was no representative from the West Bengal government.
Born Dec 3, 1889 in Bahuvaini village in West Bengal`s Midnapore district, Bose was one of the youngest revolutionaries in the early Indian independence movement and was hanged at age 19.
On April 13, 1908, assisted by Prafulla Chaki, Bose threw a bomb at a carriage supposed to be carrying Douglas Kingsford, magistrate of Calcutta Presidency. Instead, two women in the carriage were killed.
Chaki was caught but shot himself dead. Bose was arrested a day later and sentenced to die.