Sri Sri wasn`t target of `stray bullet`: Police

Last Updated: Sunday, June 6, 2010 - 00:29

Bangalore: Ending the nearly week-long mystery
over the firing incident at Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi
Shankar`s ashram here, police on Saturday said it was a stray bullet
fired by a nearby farm house owner to scare away dogs.

The stray bullet that led to speculations about an attempt
on the life of the 54-year old spiritual guru with a wide
following in the country and overseas was found to have been
fired by the farm house owner from his .32 mm revolver.
"It is conclusively proved that the bullet was from his
revolver", Karnataka DGP Ajai Kumar Singh told reporters here,
giving a clean chit to the farm owner Mahadev Prasad saying he
had no intention to murder anyone.

One of the bullets fired by Prasad from his licenced
revolver to scare away stray dogs lost velocity and landed in
the ashram premises, which was not visible from the farm house
though located nearby across the road, he said.

The firing last Sunday injuring one devotee had led to
speculation that it was an attempt on Ravi Shankar`s life
while police had called it an incident borne out of internal
rivalry.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had said Ravi Shankar
"may not" have been the target and the incident could be the
result of a dispute between two of his disciples, drawing ire
of the ashram which had termed it as hasty and damaging.

Ravi Shankar complimented the police for cracking the case
and said it had helped clear speculations about the ashram and
devotees.
He said the probe had brought out the fact that the
`shooting` was not due to any internal rivalry or brawl.

"Too much has been spoken about one bullet", he told
reporters adding the focus should now be on broader aspects as
"so many other bullets are being showered in different parts
of the country", referring to violence in several places.

Denying any hidden motive of trying to upgrade his
security or seeking publicity for the ashram through the
incident, he said the suspicion of an attack arose as an
incident of such nature had not occurred in 30 years of the
ashram`s existence.

Moreover, the ashram`s work in trying to reform and its
success in getting several people to lay down arms had not
gone down well with all, which gave rise to doubts of an
attack, he said apparently referring to his efforts to reform
naxals.

He said the incident revealed there was "so much of
prejudice and bias against ashrams and swamis". It was sad
swamis had to prove their innocence, he said and, in a witty
remark, added that Bollywood could make a film titled `I am a
swami, but I am innocent`.

The DGP said Prasad had not been arrested as no offence
had been made against him.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, June 6, 2010 - 00:29

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