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Anupam Trivedi, Hindustan Times
Dehradun, September 18, 2013
Uttarakhand government came under fire from the main opposition party, BJP, on Wednesday for being lax on Congress MLA Kunwar Pranav Singh ‘Champion’ who reportedly opened fire during a party at agriculture minister Harak Singh Rawat’s residence on Tuesday, injuring two persons. On the opening day of monsoon session in the assembly, leader of Opposition Ajay Bhatt said the incident had put a question mark on the law and order situation in the state.

“Those responsible for law and order are creating panic,” said Bhatt. He also asked why the FIR on the firing incident did not mention Champion’s name, when ‘it was evident’ who had fired the shots.

Chief minister Vijay Bahuguna did some damage control, claiming the police were investigating the incident and the law will take its own course. 

“No one is above the law,” Bahuguna told HT. But he refused to answer when asked why the police have not named anyone in the FIR. “Police are investigating,” he said. 

Rawat, at whose residence the incident occurred, said, “I have no idea what happened.” 

A Congress leader said the Champion was unhappy with the government’s decision to privatise river mining. As chairperson of Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation, he wanted the corporation to have exclusive rights over the mining.

Ravinder Saini, one of the two injured, said Champion fired in air while entering the minister’s residence. Congress leader Vivekanand Khanduri, who was hospitalised, was also injured.

 Champion had been the focus of controversies earlier too. The police had filed complaints against him in the past for opening fire in Tehsil Chowk in Dehradun and at a hotel in Roorkee. A few years ago, his name surfaced in an alligator poaching case.