Kottayam: A UD clerk escaped by a whisker after a pistol went off accidentally at the taluk office of the Mini Civil Station in Kottayam on Tuesday. Boban Thomas, the owner, had brought the pistol to the office for renewing the gun licence. His arrest has been recorded and was later given bail.
The incident happened around 12 noon, while the owner was waiting outside the office of tehsildar P G Rajendra Babu for inspection.
UD clerk C A Anish Kumar of the licence section was standing next to the pistol owner with the files. The bullet was fired in the opposite direction. It hit the concrete pillar on the veranda.
Staff at the offices of the Mini Civil Station rushed out on hearing the gunshot.
West station house officer M J Arun said that a case would be filed against the owner for handling the pistol in a careless manner.
Tehsildar P G Rajendra Babu said that a report would be submitted to the ADM to cancel the owner’s gun licence.
The owner told the tehsildar and other officials that he had accidentally pressed the trigger.
As the tehsildar does not have the authority to seize the pistol, the owner took it home.
Recounting the incident, UD clerk Anish Kumar said that the owner had arrived to renew the licence with documents from the ADM's office.
“I was also standing outside the office. There were other visitors in the tehsildar's office. The owner was checking the pistol and I saw him pulling it. I asked him if it was loaded and he replied in the negative. But the shot was fired suddenly with a loud sound. I even wondered if it was aimed at me. The owner was also startled. The fear and trembling abated only after a while," he added.
Only unloaded gun for inspection
For renewing the licence, the gun and the documents have to be submitted to the ADM, tehsildar and police. However, only unloaded guns (without bullets) should be brought for inspection, as per the norms.
The police suspect that the owner handled the pistol without realising that it was loaded.
The police will record a detailed statement of the owner.
1800 with gun licence in district
A total of 1,800 people have gun licences in the district. The licence has to be renewed every three years. Once the election notification is issued, the guns have to be surrendered at the police station, as per the instructions of the revenue officers. And can be taken back after the election process.