The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Pistol for President, made in Bihar
A Delhi policeman displays the pistol found in a parcel sent to President APJ Abdul Kalam by Mahesh Sau, a shopkeeper from Bihar. (PTI)

June 22: Little did Mahesh Sao think the low-cost country pistol he had designed and sent to the President for appraisal would backfire on him.

The 35-year Bihar shopkeeper this evening found himself under arrest for having sent President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam a packet containing a pistol, a cartridge and a signed letter seeking an appointment.

Mahesh had allegedly sent the packet with the best of intentions. He had thought the “Missile Man” was the best person to appreciate his efforts and would reward him for developing a low-cost pistol that would go a long way in cutting defence bills.

But when the packet landed at the Rashtrapati Bhavan gates at 9.30 this morning and was put through the x-ray machine, security personnel went into a tizzy. They immediately sent for a bomb disposal squad and dialled Delhi police after finding Mahesh’s letter.

“I have invented a new technique to make a pistol.… If you give me an appointment, I can explain the technology,” Mahesh wrote to the President, signing off with his name and address.

The police, not a bit amused by Mahesh’s handiwork, contacted counterparts in Bihar who swooped on his home in Pandarak, 90 km from Patna. Mahesh readily admitted having sent the pistol, did not resist arrest and said he was thrilled he would be taken to Delhi.

“Yes, I had sent the pistol to the President since he is a top scientist and would appreciate my efforts. I had made the pistol all on my own,” police sources quoted Mahesh as saying. “I am expecting a reward from Kalam sahib.”

Mahesh, who has two children and is a matriculate, is being questioned at Pandarak police station and could be shifted to Patna tonight. A Delhi police team is expected tomorrow.

“The man has no criminal record. Villagers say he is a person of clean character. If I were to pass a judgement on Mahesh, I would give him the benefit of the doubt,” a police officer said.

“We were expecting he would get jittery when police entered his house. But to our surprise, he was very forthcoming and welcomed us warmly. We expect to end interrogation by late night and hand him to Delhi police.”

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