BJP leaders' sons at Barmer firing range, BSF orders probe

Sep 04 2014, 08:52 IST
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SummarySons of two prominent state BJP leaders enjoying a day out at a BSF firing camp in Barmer, trying their hand at shooting with BSF ammunition...

A video purportedly showing sons of two prominent state BJP leaders enjoying a day out at a Border Security Force firing camp in Barmer, trying their hand at shooting with BSF ammunition, sparked a furore on Wednesday, prompting the paramilitary force to institute an inquiry into the incident.

It also issued a showcause notice to a deputy commandant, who features in the video helping the civilians shoot at the Jalipa firing range.

In the video, which started circulating Tuesday evening with at least one local television channel airing it, senior state BJP leader Jograj Singh’s son Gourav Singh is allegedly seen firing at least seven rounds. His friend Shiv Pratap Singh, son of former sarpanch Roop Singh, is seen firing while lying prone on the ground and later standing behind Gourav. The 69-second video is said to have been shot by Shiv’s brother Ajit Singh.

Sources said the youths, whose fathers are prominent Rajput leaders in the area, used their influence to approach the BSF officials, seeking access to the firing range and ammunition. While Jograj Singh has contested parliamentary elections from Barmer twice on a BJP ticket, Roop Singh is a prominent local BJP leader and has formerly served as sarpanch of Chohtan several times.

Roop Singh said he was not aware of the incident and maintained that the BSF should not have granted permission. “This is a restricted zone. The BSF should have been cautious. How could they allow such a thing?”

Gourav, a lawyer who recently stepped into politics, initially told The Indian Express over the phone that he is “an eminent shooter” and has been with the NCC and held lessons at the National Defence Academy. However, in a subsequent conversation, he maintained that he did not feature in the video. “The person in the video is not me. I am being targeted by a local mediaperson out of personal vendetta. I have never been to the Jalipa firing range.”

Sources said that the incident took place about a week ago at its Jalipa base, near Barmer town, during the annual range classification firing exercise, which is held to test firing skills of the personnel.

BSF IG, Gandhinagar, Santosh Mehra, who is incharge of the zone, confirmed that such an incident has been reported from its Jalipa base. “We are examining the video carefully and have instituted an inquiry into the incident. The officer who

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