New Delhi: Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday said the firing incident at the Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar`s ashram on Sunday could be related to a dispute between two of his followers and it may not be correct to say that it was aimed at the spiritual leader.
"The incident took place after he (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) had left in his car. It may not be correct to say that the firing was aimed at him," Chidambaram said in an interaction with reporters on the performance of his ministry during May.
He said the incident could be related to "dispute between two of (his) followers".
Ravishankar, however, said in Bangalore, "Let us not speculate on this. It
cannot be brushed off as some personal enmity. I am very hurt
at such reports."
The minister said that he had received oral report about the incident and would receive a written report by the end of the day.
Karnataka police has also termed it as an "incident" and said it was not a "targeted attack" on the Guru. "I do not call it an attack. It is an incident. Whether it was meant at a person or not, we cannot say at the moment", Karnataka DGP Ajai Kumar Singh, who visited the ashram, told reporters here.
Giving details about the firing, Singh said the bullet was fired from about 700 to 750 feet away and so far no body has claimed to have seen the attacker.
The ammunition found at the site is .32 mm and it is a versatile one that could be used for a variety of weapons, he said.
The incident of firing occurred between 6.05 PM and 6. 10 PM and at least five minutes after Ravi Shankar`s convoy had left the spot, Singh said.
A follower of the spiritual leader was injured after an unidentified man opened fire at around 6 p.m. in the ashram premises.
But Secretary to Ravi Shankar Girin Govind said the
firing took place when Guruji had just boarded the car and
closed the door and not after the convoy left.
Ravi Shankar, who escaped unhurt, said today that there were people who wanted to attack him but he was not afraid and would continue to spread the message of anti-terrorism and peace.
Speaking to reporters at his ashram this morning, Ravi Shankar said has forgiven the attacker.
"I heard a loud noise. But I was in my usual calm self. My driver had a premonition that there could be some kind of attack on me", Ravi Shankar said.
The spiritual Guru said, "I do not have enemies. However, whoever has done this, I forgive him. I give him amnesty. I invite him to join our satsang course. I will teach him meditation and Sudarshan Kriya (a breathing technique popularised by him)."
"Police cannot absolve itself of its responsibility by
taking it lightly. It has to be investigated properly. The
fact is that the bullet was fired in the direction of my car
and a devotee has been injured. It has to be taken seriously
and probed," Ravishankar added.
Quoting the account of a devotee, Vijaykumar, the DGP said he had told the police that he heard the noise and felt a burning sensation in his left thigh, but there was no bleeding injury.
Singh said, "The ashram people informed the Harohalli police Inspector around 9.10- 9.15 pm and the message reached the Ramanagara Superintendent of Police around 9.45 to ten PM".
He said according to Forensic Science Laboratory experts, it was not a flat trajectory and it would have been aimed high, but came down. "It was almost a dead bullet."
The police have provided "Y" category security to Ravi Shankar, with four police personnel guarding him round-the-clock.
Meanwhile, BJP President Nitin Gadkari has written a letter to Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa expressing concern over the issue and asked him to beef up Ravi Shankar`s security.
Replying to questions, the Karnataka DGP said that a case has been registered under 304 IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and the Arms Act.
He also replied in the negative when asked if Ravi Shankar had received any threat from any group.
Singh said the police will carry out a joint security audit at the ashram to ascertain if more security was needed.
The spiritual guru has millions of followers in India and abroad.