Bangalore, June 5 — The gunshot on May 30 suspected to have been aimed at spiritual teacher Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was meant to scare away dogs, and was not fired in the Guru’s hermitage, police said on Saturday. The shots were fired from a farmhouse, whose owner, Mahadev Prasad, allegedly was shooting at dogs to prevent them from attacking his cattle. He was detained for questioning and his licenced revolver was seized. The farmhouse is just opposite the hermitage, 21 km south-west of Bangalore. Karnataka Director General of Police Ajai Kumar Singh reiterated his earlier position that it was not an assassination bid on the spiritual teacher. The development vindicates the position of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, who had doubted the assassination theory. Sri Sri said he had confidence in the police and was satisfied with the investigation. “I don’t want cheap publicity,” he said. By all accounts, the bullet fired from Prasad’s gun travelled more than 2,300 feet and, without causing harm, hit a devotee called Vinay Kumar at the hermitage. Singh said no case had been filed against Prasad. Prasad told reporters he was not aware that the bullet had hit someone and hence he did not approach the police. “Too much has been spoken about one bullet,” he told reporters adding the focus should now be on broader aspects as “so many other bullets are being showered in different parts of the country” referring to violence in several places. Denying any hidden motive of trying to upgrade his security or seeking publicity for the ashram through the incident, he said the suspicion of an attack arose as an incident of such nature had not occurred in 30 years of the ashram’s existence. Moreover, the ashram’s work in trying to reform and its success in getting several people to lay down arms had not gone down well with all, which gave rise to doubts of an attack, he said apparently referring to his efforts to reform naxals.
The DGP said Prasad had not been arrested as no offence had been made against him.