The oath-taking ceremony of the municipal council at Aonla, near Bareilly in UP took a tragic turn when a 10-year-old boy was killed during celebratory firing on Monday. Five policemen have been suspended following the incident.
The boy, Mehtab, had gone to the venue to collect sweets that were being distributed after the ceremony. As the bullets were fired, the crowd ran for cover, eyewitnesses said.
The assailant was identified as Danish Mazhar, a supporter of SP-backed municipal council chief Riyaz Ansari. Mazhar, however, claimed his gun went off accidentally when he was loading bullets.
“The man has been arrested and the weapon recovered,” said Barelilly’s senior superintendent of police Sanjeev Gupta. Police said strict action would be taken against the culprit.
Action is also being mulled against the local body official.
Celebratory firing has become a menace in UP. It is banned in the state, but in the past four months alone, more than six people, including three children, have died in celebratory firing.