KOVVURU: Fresh doubts are being raised over the security arrangements at the pushkar ghats during the Godavari Maha Pushkarams after an Indian-made pistol was recovered at the Gauthami Ghat in Kovvuru of West Godavari district on Thursday.
However, there was no ammunition. Incidentally, the pistol was recovered just hours before chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu visited the ghat to check the arrangements.
At round 8 am, a group of youth from fishermen community was retrieving coins thrown into Godavari river by the visiting pilgrims as part of the rituals. One of the youngsters found the pistol at the bottom of the river. Immediately, they alerted the police who took away the weapon.
A search was carried out for any ammunition but to no avail. Inspecting the weapon, West Godavari district superintendent of police Bhaskar Bhushan told the mediapersons that the pistol was Indian-made and an investigation will be carried out to ascertain its owner besides finding out as to how it found its way into the ghats. He did not elaborate further.
The incident sent the police into a tizzy as the chief minister was visiting the Gauthami Ghat hours later. It may be recalled that the police came under severe criticism for mishandling the crowds at the Pushkara Ghat which led to a stampede and killed 27 persons in Rajahmundry on Tuesday. The latest incident turned out to be yet another glaring example for the lack of proper security arrangements at the ghats, particularly in the wake of the chief minister’s visit.