Bihar Police's attempt to honour freedom fighter Khudiram Bose with a seven gun salute on the day he got martyred 105 years ago ended in embarrassment when the guns refused to go off.
The guns and bullets used by the policemen to honour the memory of this great figure from the days of India's struggle for freedom were of such vintage that only two fired.
Confirming the 'mishap', Muzaffarpur senior superintendent of police (SSP) Saurabh Kumar said he had issued a show cause notice to sergeant major of the police lines BK Mishra.
"I have asked him to submit his report within 24 hours. Apart from it, I have also set up a high-level inquiry committee to look into the matter. Stern action against those found guilty is imminent," the SSP told HT.
When reached for comments, Mishra was unfazed. "The guns used for the salute are of British India heritage and the bullets 28-29 years old. The mishap was waiting to happen for a long time," he told HT.
The incident happened around 8am on Sunday when local police and civil administration officials were joined by dignitaries from West Bengal for a remembrance function at the Khudi Ram Bose memorial in Kampanibagh.
It was at this spot on April 30, 1908 that Bose had tried to assassinate the chief presidency magistrate of Calcutta, Kingsford, who was notorious for his harsh rulings on Indian freedom fighters.
Bose, just 18 at the time, and another revolutionary, Prafulla Kumar Chaki, were given the task of killing Kingsford, who had been just transferred to Bihar.
Around 8.30pm on April 30, 1908, the two threw bombs near the European club on a carriage they thought Kingsford was traveling in. But he was not in it and two other women died in the attack, instead.
On August 11, 1908, Bose was hanged at the local jail here, at this north Bihar district headquarters town of Muzaffarpur, which has since been named Shahid Khudi Ram Bose memorial central jail.