KARNATAKA, India – An Indian host died of a heart attack after he accidentally shot dead a guest in Karnataka state, according to sources, turning the New Year’s party into a tragic event.
Manjunath Olekar, 67, was preparing his gun to fire celebratory shots during the party at his home in Shivamogga city on Saturday, as BBC reported.
But the gun misfired and a bullet hit Vinay U, 34, who was standing next to him, according to the report. Vinay was rushed to the hospital after the incident, but he died on Sunday evening.
“Following the incident, Olekar went into shock and collapsed,” said GK Mithun Kumar, a police superintendent in Shivamogga city of Karnataka state.
Local police have started an investigation into the incident.
According to Police officials, Olekar had a licensed gun and he had allegedly used it in previous years as well to mark the arrival of the new year.
Kumar told BBC Hindi that during the party on Saturday, Olekar was loading the gun when he “accidentally pressed the trigger”, shooting Vinay, who was his son’s friend.
Responding to the incident, the police officials said, “a firearm can be used only in certain circumstances. Not to fire in the air to celebrate.
The bizarre incident shocked the people of Shivamogga so much that even those who did not know the businessman went to his house to pay their respects.
“I just felt sad, so I went to pay my homage,” a resident of the city said, as BBC quoted.
Celebratory gunfire is the shooting of a firearm into the air in celebration. It is culturally accepted in parts of the world, including India, which often lead to accidental deaths and injuries.
Common occasions for celebratory gunfire include New Year’s Day, as well as religious holidays and weddings.
The practice also sometimes results in random death and injury from stray bullets.
Property damage is another result of celebratory gunfire; shattered windows and damaged roofs are often found after such celebrations.