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Top cop hits bullseye in short-range firing

- Eight straight hits in nine seconds help DGP trounce colleague with same score at shooting championship

Director-general of police (DGP) Abhayanand has never carried a gun on him or used one in his 35-year career but emerged right on the top at the Sachchidanand Akhauri Inter-Shooting Championship on Saturday.

The DGP proved that he was the first among senior IPS officers at the weeklong shooting championship being held at the Bihar Military Police (BMP) headquarters in the city.

The participants of the annual event were taken aback when Abhayanand hit the bullseye with a carbine.

Though the DGP was lagging behind in the first round of the short-range firing, he came out with flying colours by hitting all eight targets in the final round.

He took only nine seconds to hit the targets with his favourite firearm in the final round.

The top cop, however, faced stiff challenge from his junior and additional director-general of police (ADGP) Gupteshwar Pandey.

Pandey also scored the same points as the DGP. But Pandey was declared second as he took 23 seconds to hit the targets.

Among the commandants of the 18 battalions of the state’s elite force, Chhatranil Singh was declared the top scorer.

Shiv Kumar Jha, the commandant of the 16th battalion of BMP, said: “The marks obtained by the DGP and other IPS officers would officially be declared on the concluding day of the weeklong event. Their marks would not be added to the score of any participating team. In fact, this has been the practice since the championship began.”

He, however, clarified that the marks obtained by the senior IPS officers were put on record.

“These officers are not the participants. But they use this event as a platform to display their shooting skills. Firing practice is mandatory for a man in uniform,” he said, adding that many state police officials have fared well at national-level shooting championships in the past.

A total of 25 IPS officers, including additional director-general (law and order) Suresh Kumar Bhardwaj and inspector-general (CID) Vinay Kumar, showed their shooting skills at the two-day close-range battle (read shooting) competition on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

The cops used small arms like pistols, revolvers, carbines and sten guns to hit the targets.

Jha, who is also the organising secretary of the championship named after former IG S.N. Akhauri, said the long-range firing event would be organised on the premises of the second battalion of the BMP stationed at Dehri-on-Sone in Rohtas district on February 3.

The participants would use rifles, self-loading rifles and Insas rifles among others to hit the target, he added.

The commandant said small weapons like carbines could hit the target up to 40-50 yards.

“Hitting the bullseye with a small-sized firearm is considered a tough affair. It is not because it is small in size but it requires regular practice and a lot of perseverance,” he told The Telegraph.

The inspector-general of Darbhanga zone, Jitendra Kumar, is one such officer, who prefers to handle pistols.

“Though I have not got any opportunity to see Jitendra Kumar’s firing skills, I have heard about him from my seniors that he is an ace shooter,” Jha said.

Inaugurating the mega event, Abhayanand said different wings of the state police would take part in the shooting championship from next year.

At present, the event is organised for personnel of the 18 battalions of the BMP only.