It was a busy Tuesday morning at Powai’s Hiranandani Gardens as employees of call centers and other offices located in the area trickled into work.
Just then, at 10.30 am, two bullets strayed into the leafy vicinity and hit a car and a glass box enclosing a water hose.
The bullets, it was later found, were allegedly misfired from the nearby Ghatkopar firing range. Nobody was injured.
Police and residents claimed this was the fourth such incident. Additional Commissioner of Police (Local Arms Division), Sandeep Bishnoi, said that an inquiry will be conducted.
The Powai police said the incidents near Alpha and Omega buildings.
“It is a case of misfire from the Ghatkopar firing range. A group of policemen were engaged in target practice at the range and two of the bullets misfired,” said senior inspector Ashok Jadhav. “Similar incidents have happened three to four times in the past but the chances of someone being seriously injured are rare.”
Anil Sardar, facility supervisor of four commercial buildings--Omega, Alpha, Sigma and Delta--told Hindustan Times that he learnt about the incident around 11 am. “I informed security about the incident at Omega building where a bullet had hit a parked car,” said Sardar. “When I was returning to Alpha, a guard told me that the glass of a hose pipe box was also broken. A pellet of similar make was lodged inside the box.”
The operations manager of the Powai Commandoes unit, Prakar Wadkar, said: “As the firing range is located very far away, the velocity of the bullet is less by the time it reaches Hiranandani. It can at the most injure a person and cannot lead to anybody’s death.”
Jadhav said that a high wall was being built around the firing range. The incident sparked rumours about a shootout began making rounds in the area, causing panic especially since a couple of shootouts had occurred in the past few weeks.
‘Thank God, I wasn’t in the car’
I was working at my desk on the sixth floor of Omega commercial complex.
At around 10.40 am, the building’s security guard came up to me and said my car had been damaged.
He looked very scared and told me that something had pierced the windshield of my three-year-old Maruti SX4 in the parking lot.
I panicked. The first thing I thought of was somebody had tried to attack me. As I took the elevator down, I kept telling myself I was lucky I was not in the car.
When I reached the parking lot, I saw that the windshield of the car at the rear end had cracked. As soon at I unlocked the door to check the damage, shards of glass came crashing down from the windshield. I found a bullet inside the car.
I got in touch with Prakash Wadkar, the Operations Manager of the private
security group, Powai Commandos, and informed him about the incident. I told him about the bullet.
Wadkar called the Powai police. The officers, who came to conduct a panchnama, seized the bullet.
I do not think that it was a deliberate attempt by any party to harm me. From what I could gather, it appeared to be an accident and an isolated case.
(As told to Rachna Pratihar)