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40-year-old arrested for allegedly shooting girl in Bengaluru school

A minor girl was shot dead on the outskirts of the city by a man who was allegedly stalking her, police said on Wednesday.

india Updated: Apr 02, 2015 07:57 IST
Sudipto Mondal
Sudipto Mondal
Hindustan Times

A Karnataka school employee allegedly gunned down a teenager in the institute’s hostel and injured another, with police saying the arrested accused might have been on a wanton killing spree of the kind that has become a recurring feature on US campuses.

Mahesh, 38, first killed 17-year-old Gautami, who was resting in her room and then shot her friend, Sirisha, through the jaw with an unbranded pistol while she was sleeping in the adjoining room separated by a door.

He then walked out to the corridor of the Pragathi college hostel where he tried to shoot another group of girls. However, his low-grade weapon failed to fire, giving the girls a chance to escape.

Police commissioner M N Reddi, who made these disclosures at a late evening press conference, said the inferior quality of the firearm also saved Sirisha’s life.

Reddi said the pistol did not go off the first time Mahesh aimed at Sirisha. By the time he had cocked it again and fired, she had recovered from the shock and tried to shut the door. In the ensuing scuffle, the bullet failed to inflict a fatal blow.

The commissioner expressed doubts over initial media reports that suggested Mahesh was stalking Gautami and killed her when she resisted his advances. “These are still early days in the investigation,” he said.

Lending further credence to the theory that this was an indiscriminate shooting spree, Reddi said it didn’t appear that the accused’s anger was triggered suddenly as he had visited his ancestral village to procure the weapon.

The top cop said Mahesh was disliked by most of the girls at the hostel because he tried to dominate their lives and discipline them.

Some of the girls, he said, recently had a shouting match with him and questioned his authority. “He was not the warden and his duties were limited to running small errands such as supplying water and ringing the hourly bell,” Reddi said.

(* An earlier report gave an incorrect name for the injured girl.)

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