Firing was essential at that moment: AP cops

Inquiry into Dharmasthala firing

 The main accused in the firing Bheekshmayya (54) and P Suvarnaraju said that “we fired in the air for self-protection. We had the fear of being burnt alive by the public. Firing was essential at that moment.”

They said “the locals behaved rudely with us and started pelting stones at the KSRTC bus which we were travelling. The locals had surrounded the bus with cans full of petrol and torch. In fact, they had assaulted police official and team leader Nagesh Babu and six others who were outside the bus. In this situation, for self protection, we had opened fire in the air.”  “Normally, we do not open fire without the order from higher officials. However, here the situation was different. When higher official was assaulted, we did not wait for an order with fear of our life and we opened fire in the air. In fact, we had even given a warning not to come forward,” they added.

“We had come for election duty in Naxal infested areas. As a result, we had rifle (SLR) and two boxes of bullets and grenades. If the locals had set afire the bus, then the granades and bombs would have burst and affected 300 metres area. In this situation for self-protection, we had opened fire thrice in the air,” they informed.

Though police, sub inspector, circle inspector tried to pacify the enraged public, they did not listen. As a result, lathi charge was ordered. After arresting us, a calm situation prevailed.

Police team head Nagesh Babu, P Krishnaiah, A Ramulu, A Anand, P Chinnarao and Srinivas said that they did not behave rudely with the public. “We did not consume alcohol. We did not create any problems in the dining room as well.”

Andhra Pradesh police gave their verdict in Telugu which was translated to Kannada by Sheshadri.

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