The residents of Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, are dealing with a phenomenon that sounds almost like it is from a tele-serial on paranormal activity. Two people had a narrow escape on Tuesday when a stray bullet whizzed past them and landed a few inches away. This is the fourth incident of its kind.
While there are suspicions that these stray bullets may be the result of misfired shots at the nearby Ghatkopar firing range, there has been no investigation into the issue. Residents are now determined to take up the matter with senior police officers in order to ensure their own safety.
Two employees of a commercial building Anil Sardar and Rajesh Vishwakarma reported the recent incident to the cops. “We were standing and discussing some work when we heard a weird sound in the room. We looked down only to find a small object that was still rotating. We realised it was a bullet and alerted the cops,” said Vishwakarma, who works in the housekeeping department of Alpha House. His supervisor Sardar added, “The bullet went past us. It could have hit us.”
In February, a bullet pierced through a car parked outside Omega, a commercial building in the plush complex while another shattered a box enclosing a water hose in Alpha. While three bullets were reported in Hiranandani Gardens, one pierced through the roof of a house in neighbouring Tirandaz village and narrowly missed a 12-year-old who was playing inside the house. Several such incidents have been reported over the last two years.
“We are conducting an investigation and have written to the officers at the firing range to find out if anyone was practising there when the bullet came into Powai,” said Senior Inspector Ashok Jadhav. He added that after the last incident in February, the commissioner of police had visited the range and asked for some changes apart from instructing officers to take precautions while shooting. He said that once it was confirmed that this bullet had come from the firing range, a report would be submitted to seniors for immediate action.
The residents, however, are in no mood to wait. Srinivas Sirigeri, founder of Jaago IndiaMovement in Powai, said, “What are we waiting for – a bullet to kill someone? Enough is enough. After so many incidents police are yet to do anything concrete to put an end to the spate of incidents. We are taking up the matter with the senior police officers and will not rest till we get an answer.”
Prasoon Kumar, another resident and a former armed forces person, said that the bullets could be coming from somewhere other than the range. “But it is about time a solution is found. I am speaking to office bearers of all societies in the complex so that we can confront the authorities collectively.”
Joseph Reddy, administration manager with Hiranandani Group, has contacted many residents to take up the issue with police on a war footing. “After so many incidents we cannot sit tight hoping the bullets won’t hit anybody just because they haven’t so far,” he said.
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