Fisherman shot off Kochi coast: Navy hands over guns to police for ballistic test

The bullet was recovered from the boat, representational image of a boat.

Kochi: The police have taken into custody five guns belonging to the Navy in connection with the case of an accidental firing off Fort Kochi coast on September 7.

Sebastian (72) was shot off the coast of Fort Kochi when he was returning home after his daily round of fishing. The bullet grazed his ear. 

The incident happened when his boat neared the vicinity of INS Dronacharya, a naval training facility.

Though the Navy repeatedly maintained that the shot was not fired from any of its guns, a police inquiry concluded otherwise.

The bullet recovered from the boat was from INSAS rifles used by Navy personnel.

It was also reported that on the day of the incident, the naval personnel were given firing training.

The police also sought help from the Coast Guard to rule out the theory that the firing likely occurred from a passing ship.

When it was clear that no ship had passed by during the time of the incident, the probe turned to the Navy.

Since the day of the incident, the Navy had been refuting claims that the firing took place from its centre or any of its guns.

So, when technical issues delayed the handing over of the guns to the police, it was likely misinterpreted as the Navy not cooperating with the investigation.

However, Spokesperson Atul Pillai said the Navy has handed over all details sought by the police.

He also clarified that the delay in handing over the guns was to complete its formalities.

Ballistic tests will now be conducted to ascertain if the shot was indeed fired from the Navy's guns.

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