Two minor boys were killed and two women were seriously injured when an allegedly drunk police official opened fire from his service revolver during a wedding function in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhind town, police said on Thursday.
The incident came barely a few weeks after a Delhi court sentenced a 35-year-old to 25 months in jail for killing the groom’s uncle in a similar incident of celebratory firing in the national capital in 2012.
The court had also asked the government to take steps to prevent the death of innocent people in such incidents.
In the Bhind incident, too, one of the killed minors was the brother of the bride.
Police said the accused police official Anand Kumar Jatav, an assistant inspector, was arrested immediately after the incident which took place at the bride’s house in the Ambedkar Nagar locality of Bhind, around 500 km north of Bhopal.
The accused is the brother-in-law of the groom, said Virendra Singh Tomar, the city superintendent of police.
He identified the dead as Alok, 15 and Dhiru, 11, both of whom died on the spot. The two seriously injured women were rushed to a hospital in Gwalior.
Tomar, however, said the weapon was yet to be seized.
Despite the tragedy, families of both the bride and groom decided to go ahead with the marriage and the rituals were completed on Thursday morning, sources said.
Celebratory firing is common in many parts of the country often leading to tragic consequences though involvement of policemen in such incidents is rare.
In its order, the Delhi high court had highlighted the need to tighten the procedure for granting arms license.
“Firing with guns and pistols during marriage processions has become a sort of fashion. If this is happening in the capital city, it will be certainly in a larger proportion in rural or remote areas,” additional sessions judge Manoj Jain had said in his order.