GUWAHATI: A Mizoram Minister’s alleged “fun-firing” from an assault rifle has triggered a storm with an MLA of opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) demanding that the Minister pay back the police department for robbing it of its armoury.
The state’s Sports Minister Zodintluanga and some youth Congress leaders “squandered” police ammunition by allegedly firing a barrage of shots at the 1st India Reserve Battalion headquarters at Mualvum, some 30 km away from state capital Aizawl, on Saturday.
“The powerful Sports Minister, accompanied by his colleagues, went to the 1st IR battalion headquarters and the authorities there made arrangement for them. The team led by the Minister spent the whole day at the battalion’s firing range and fired several rounds from assault rifles such as US-make M4 rifle, AK-47 besides Block pistol. They had a lot of fun,” MNF MLA, Lalruatkima alleged.
He said as Zodintluanga’s “lavish lifestyle” robbed the police of armoury bought with people’s money, the Minister should compensate the loss.
“It’s really unfortunate that the Minister chose to have joy by wasting the state’s money when people were mourning the deaths of five persons in an incident of landslides near Aizawl. He is a Minister and he should know that the arms and ammunitions in question belonged to the police and were restricted from use by civilians,” Lalruatkima said.
The state’s Congress government has not yet given a response. Calls made to Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla went unanswered. The Police too have remained tight-lipped.
“The police will not give a statement as the incident involves a Minister,” a police officer said requesting anonymity.
Asked if the MNF will lodge a complaint with the police against the Minister and others, Lalruatkima said, “We’ll discuss the issue tomorrow (Wednesday) and take a call”.
The BJP said it was verifying the incident and as such, would not give a comment now.