Sub-Inspector S V Chudasma, posted at Makarpura police station, had shot four rounds at Simit Prajapati.
A day after a Sub-Inspector shot at a betel shop owner in Tarsali area of Vadodara city, police registered an FIR against five unknown persons on Tuesday for rioting, attempt to murder and illegal alcohol possession, based on a complaint filed by the S-I.
Sub-Inspector S V Chudasma, posted at Makarpura police station, had shot four rounds at Simit Prajapati. He has alleged that he was questioning a few men at a paan shop run by Prajapati about the presence of suspected illegal liquor there when the incident took place.
Vadodara Police Commissioner Anupam Singh Gahlaut has maintained that Chudasma had fired in self-defence when he was allegedly attacked by five men at the shop. Chudasma, who had also sustained minor injuries, has been admitted to SSG Hospital.
The victim is also recuperating at a private hospital with three bullet injuries — one near his stomach and two on his thigh. Prajapati’s condition is critical, hospital authorities said.
Chudasma, who is on probation at the Makarpura police station for the last five months, has alleged in his complaint that on Monday night when he was on his way home, he saw the five men at the paan shop. He suspected presence of liquor there and so he approached them.
According to his complaint, he had received a tip-off regarding illegal liquor being sold at paan shops. He has stated in his complaint that when he approached the men he saw bottles of liquor and soda and some edible items. When he allegedly questioned the men about the liquor, they questioned him back about his identity as Chudasma was dressed in civil clothes. He asked them if they had permits, which enraged the men, leading to a verbal and then a physical altercation between them, Chudasma has alleged in his complaint.
He has further stated that despite telling them that he was a policeman, the men continued to beat him up and even tried to snatch his service pistol, which was loaded. It was then that he allegedly opened fire in self defense, after which he headed straight to the Makarpura police station to report the matter, he has stated.
Makarpura police have booked the five under IPC sections 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 143 and 147 (Unlawful assembly), 395 (Punishment for dacoity), 307 (Attempt to murder), 506 (2) (Punishment for criminal intimidation), 294 KH (Obscene acts and songs) and under Prohibition Act.
Prajapati’s family, however, has refuted the allegation of the presence of liquor bottles at the paan shop and submitted an application to the Makarpura police.
Prajapati’s elder brother Dilip said that he and his brother, who were at home, had heard some noise and tried to intervene when they saw a man thrashing their father. “Our father, along with a few customers, was at the paan shop, which is right across our house. We were having dinner when we heard the noise. My younger brother and I rushed out and saw a man manhandling our father. We did not know he was a policeman since he was in a civil dress. We tried to intervene and stop him, but he continued to hit our father and then shot at my brother. Once he gains consciousness, we will file a complaint against the policeman,” Dilip said.
When asked what had led to an altercation between his father and Chudasma, Dilip said he did not know and denied that they sold any liquor. “If some person had come to our shop with a liquor bottle, that does not imply that we sell it,” Dilip added.
Dilip’a father Manilal (65) has refused to comment.
The police have not found any liquor during their search at the paan shop. “We could not find any liqour at the shop, but the police sub-inspector had mentioned that he saw a bottle. So there can be a possibility that someone had brought it there and as the altercation began, he fled from there along with the liquor,” said DCP, Zone 3, Sanjay Kharat.
Commissioner of Police Gahlaut said a probe is underway on the basis of the FIR. “We are recording statements. After Prajapati gains consciousness, if he has to file a complaint, we will proceed further with that too,” said Gahlaut.
Police was deployed at the area throughout the day, even as nearby shops remained closed on Tuesday.