‘Accidental firing’ from sub-inspector’s revolver: Family of deceased accepts body, cop booked

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PSI Chavda reportedly told police that the bullet that hit Himanshu near his eye was fired accidentally while he was cleaning his revolver inside the police post.(Representational Image)

The family of Himanshu Gohel, a spa owner who was allegedly killed in accidental firing from the revolver of a police sub-inspector on Wednesday evening, accepted his body on Thursday after police officers convinced them that prima facie there was no mala fide intention on the part of the PSI and that the duo were friends.

Himanshu, 30, was hit by a bullet from the service revolver of PSI PP Chavda soon after the former entered the police post at the temporary central bus station of Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC) on Shashtri Maidan at 5 pm on Wednesday. PSI Chavda reportedly told police that the bullet that hit Himanshu near his eye was fired accidentally while he was cleaning his revolver inside the police post. Himanshu died on the spot.

Based on a complaint filed by Himanshu’s father Dinesh Gohel, a case was registered against PSI Chavda at ‘A’ Division police station in the city at 11 pm on Wednesday. Chavda was booked under IPC Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and Section 30 of the Arms Act for allegedly violating condition of his arms licence even as Himanshu’s body was shifted to Pandit Deendayala Upadhaya Hospital for postmortem.

Himanshu’s family initially refused to accept his body on Thursday alleging that Himanshu was not killed in accidental firing but was murdered. They demanded that the PSI be booked for murder instead of causing death by negligence. However, they accepted the body later in the day after top officers assured them that due legal course was being taken in the incident.

“We told them very clearly that the case has been registered under IPC Section 304-A. It is for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, which is equivalent to a murder... It is an unfortunate incident... But it has taken place. We have not taken it as an accident but as something more severe...,” commissioner of police (CP), Rakot city, Manoj Agarwal, told The Indian Express on Thursday.

The commissioner said prima facie, no mala fide intention on the part of the PSI was established. “Chavda and he were friends and there was no issue or tussle to murder him... He came to meet the PSI and it happened within 10 seconds. When he (Himanshu) came in, unfortunately he (the PSI) was handling the weapon and the firing took place,” said Agarwal.

The CP further said that another friend of the the PSI, Piyush Raiyani, was present inside the police post when the incident took place while Chavda was changing the holster of his revolver. “There is an eyewitness to the incident. Chavda was cleaning his weapon after finding it quite dirty when he took it out of the old holster. But how precisely the firing happened would require reconstruction of the incident and further investigation,” said Agarwal.

The commissioner said that after the incident, the PSI rang up city police control room to inform about the incident and surrendered. Chavda was later taken into custody and was subsequently suspended from service.

Himanshu, a resident of Ank-ur Society in the city, was running Go Family Spa from Pramukh Swami Arcade at Malavaliya Chowk, his father stated in his complaint. Chavda was in charge of the police post at the GSRTC bus station when the incident took place. The outpost functions under ‘A’ Division police station.

In his complaint, Dinesh further stated that after lunch on Wednesday, Himanshu informed him that he needed Rs 40,000, which the father gave him. “Later, some policemen turned up at home and inquired about relationship between Himanshu and I. When I told them he was my son, they asked me to go with them... When we reached the police post at the ST police post, I found my son’s body lying in a pool of blood inside the police post,” Dinesh, 69, who works as a washerman, stated in his complaint.

As per the FIR, Raiyani told Dinesh that PSI Chavda was cleaning his revolver when it went off accidentally and a bullet hit Himanshu. Dinesh also stated in his complaint that his wife Bhanu had told him once that their son was planning to purchase a spacious shop at the cost of Rs 54 lakh to run a spa in partnership and that she did not know about the partner.

Himanshu is survived by his wife Isha and six-year-old daughter Heenal. Isha is around three months pregnant, police said.