Constable dies of ‘accidental firing’ at Ram Temple complex in Ayodhya

The victim was allegedly looking at this phone when his own rifle went off.
Image used for representational purpose.
Image used for representational purpose.File photo

LUCKNOW: A constable of Uttar Pradesh Special Security Force (UPSSF) deployed at Ayodhya Shri Ram Janmabhoomi complex, died after getting injured by a gunshot fired from his own rifle on early Wednesday morning.

Senior police officers, who visited the spot, said they were trying to ascertain if it was a case of accidental firing or suicide. UPSSF has been raised specifically to guard the upcoming Ram temple on Ram Janmabhoomi premises.

The deceased, Shatrughna Vishwakarma, 25, hailed from neighbouring district Ambedkarnagar.

The incident occurred at 5.25 am. As per local police authorities, Vishwakarma was stationed near the under-construction VIP gate in front of the Koteshwar Temple, about 150 metres from the main part of the upcoming Ram Temple. He was on duty with several other security personnel at the time of the incident.

The bullet struck Vishwakarma in the forehead. His fellow security guards immediately rushed him to a nearby hospital and he was referred to a trauma centre where he succumbed during the course of treatment. The body of the deceased has been sent for the post-mortem examination, while a forensic team was examining the site to look into the circumstances that led to the incident.

Image used for representational purpose.
PAC jawan sustains bullet injury on Ram Janmabhoomi premises in Ayodhya

As per the police sources, prima facie, it appeared that Shatrughna Vishwakarma was hit by a bullet from his own INSAS rifle on the front part of his temple, which may have been gone off accidentally. Colleagues of the deceased reported that Vishwakarma was looking at his mobile phone when the incident took place.

While other aspects are under investigation, the victim's mobile phone has been sent for forensic analysis, said the senior police authorities. As per Pravin Kumar, Inspector General of Police, Faizabad Range, all aspects of the incident were being looked into. "Forensic reports and post-mortem examination will clear the exact cause," he said.

However, the incident led to a commotion within the temple. Senior police officers, including the Inspector General (IG) and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), arrived at the scene to conduct an investigation.

Shatrughna Vishwakarma joined the force in 2019 and hailed from Kajpura, a village under Sammanpur police station area of Ambedkarnagar district.

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The New Indian Express