The lawless ways of the Wild West is part of folklore, but not many would have heard of a “Wild East”.
A senior jury member was on the verge of being removed from the Karni Singh Shooting Ranges after he was involved in an incident, which could have endangered the lives of marksmen competing in the Commonwealth Championships.
On Sunday, DK Shukla, who is also an honorary secretary of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), asked an Indian shooter to fire at a wooden wall in front of the targets in the 25m range without taking permission from the authorities.
Reacting sharply, Commonwealth Shooting Federation (CSF) president, Graeme Hudson, has written a scathing letter to Manmeet Singh Goindi, the range administrator. “I stopped short of telling Mr Shukla that any further unapproved incident would result in his removal from the 25m jury for this championship, which would subsequently remove him from the Commonwealth Games Jury,” he wrote.
Goindi confirmed that a complaint had been received.
“(All this) should be done in the right environment. This is not the right practice,” Hudson told HT. Asked if it could endanger lives, the Kiwi said, “There are a lot of people around.”
In the letter, dated Feb 24, Hudson said, “When I confronted Mr Shukla about the incident, he explained that it had been alleged that a .22 bullet would go through the wooden panel and he wished to prove this correct or otherwise. He did not obtain the permission of the CRO (Chief Range Official) or the chairman of the 25m jury to conduct this exercise.
“I reminded Mr Shukla that it was inappropriate for anyone to deliberately fire at (anything) other than the target and any such tests, if approved, should take place on the proofing range. The result of this incident, other than being unapproved, is five shot holes in the timber wall.”
Speaking in his defence, Shukla pointed out that Hudson had undertaken a similar exercise at the 50m range, “Why single me out?” The jury member said he had only asked the marksman to shoot in the mud. “I wanted to test whether the bullet ricocheted properly and did not pierce the wooden planks. This is called ‘proving’ in shooting parlance,” he said.