A stray bullet fired during the oath taking ceremony of the Nagar Panchayat members by an overzealous political supporter, hit in the head of Mehtaab, a curious onlooker, leading to his instant death.
Senior Supreintendent of Police (SSP) Bareilly Sanjeev Gupta told IANS that the incident happened at the oath-taking ceremony of the newly elected chairman of the Nagar Panchayat, Riyaz Ansari. When the oath taking was drawing to a close, a supporter of Ansari suddenly began firing in the air in joy and a bullet hit the unsuspecting Mehtaab. He slumped on the ground and died on the spot, police said.
As the bullets were fired, the crowd ran for cover, eye witness accounts said. The assailant has been identified as Danish, though he claimed that his gun went off accidentally as he was loading bullets into it. Police said they were probing the matter and strict action would be taken against the culprit. "The man has been arrested and the weapon used in firing recovered. Strict action would be taken against him," the SSP told IANS. The body of the deceased has been sent for autopsy.
Celebratory firing has become a big menace in Uttar Pradesh, specially the central and western parts of the state. It is officially banned in Uttar Pradesh but in the past four months alone, more than six persons have died in celebratory firings at different places. These include three kids.