Gun-toting youth killed in Mumbai bus, Patil defends police action (Lead, Changing dateline)

October 27th, 2008 - 6:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Raj ThackerayMumbai/Nagpur, Oct 27 (IANS) In a bizarre incident, police killed a menacing-looking, gun-toting youth in a Mumbai bus after he fired indiscriminately. While Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil justified the action, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar criticised it.A spokesman for the government-owned BEST said that the man, Rahul Raja, and his accomplice boarded the route no. 332 double-decker Kurla-Andheri bus at Saki Naka stop around 10 a.m. and went on to the upper deck.

When conductor Mahendra M. Ghule asked them to buy a ticket, Raja whipped out a revolver while his accomplice caught Ghule, tied him with a rope and threw him out of the moving bus.

Raja, said to be in an unstable state of mind, had opened fire indiscriminately injuring a commuter. He reportedly said he had come from Bihar to kill Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, who has been in news for his tirade against migrant workers from outside the state.

Meanwhile, the conductor on the lower deck signalled the bus to stop and summoned a policeman on duty nearby.

The entire area was cordoned off and a police team managed to shoot down Raja. His accomplice was arrested, the spokesperson told IANS.

One commuter suffered minor injuries, while Ghule was treated and discharged from the hospital.

Speaking in Nagpur, Patil strongly defended the Mumbai police move saying that was the right action in the given situation to save the lives of other bus passengers.

Patil, who holds the home portfolio, told reporters that any other hot-head imperiling the lives of people would be dealt with in a similar manner.

However, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar criticized the action saying police should have apprehended the frenzied youth instead of killing him.

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