Angry after being asked to pay the fare, a policeman quarrelled with a bus conductor and allegedly fired in the air from his service revolver to frighten him, but the bullet hit a young cricketer in the head, police said on Saturday.
The incident took place in Ludhiana on Friday evening, when Jitender Singh from the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) fired a shot in the air inside a bus bound for Jalandhar. The bullet hit 20-year-old Rahul Kumar, a co-passenger. He was taken to hospital in a serious condition.
"The accused cop has been arrested and a case registered against him," district police chief Sukhchain Singh Gill told IANS on Saturday.
The cricketer's condition is said to be serious, but stable. A doctor said he may not be able to play the sport rest of his life, as his left eye is "completely damaged".
"There are some serious injuries in his skull. Though we have saved his life, but he cannot play as a normal player," said Kim Mammon, deputy director of Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) in Ludhiana. Rahul was a member of the Under-22 cricket team of Jalandhar and was returning home from Patiala.
"We had gone to Patiala to play a cricket match. But we could not play due to bad weather and were returning to Jalandhar when the incident occurred," said Rahul's friend, who was travelling in the same bus.
Ludhiana, the industrial hub of Punjab, is around 100 km from the state capital Chandigarh.