BJP leader Pramod Mahajan shot at in Mumbai

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Pramod Mahajan, the general secretary of India's main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, was shot in Mumbai earlier today. The attack occurred at Mahajan's residence at around 6:30 a.m. IST (0100 UTC).

There are few details available at this time, however sources say Mahajan was shot three times at close range by his brother Praveen Mahajan, allegedly over a property dispute. Praveen later surrendered at the Worli Police Station. His lawyer Nandkumar Rajukar claimed that he was depressed and suffering from some mental trauma.

Pramod Mahajan was rushed to the nearby Hinduja Hospital, where he is currently being operated upon for a serious injury to his liver. A senior surgeon at the hospital stated that Mr. Mahajan was still in critical condition and that the next 72 hours would be "crucial". Three bullets are still lodged in his body and doctors are finding it difficult to extract them. There is talk of using the help of doctors from the armed forces, who have better experience in treating bullet injuries. Mr. Mahajan's liver was severely injured in the incident, leading to massive blood loss. Doctors say that he is currently on a ventilator and that the bullets cannot be removed for fear of causing even more bleeding.

Praveen Mahajan has been booked under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code that deals with attempt to murder. He underwent a psychological examination, which indicated that he was mentally stable.

Senior politicians from across India are arriving in Mumbai to offer their support to the popular leader. The Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh, speaker of the Indian parliament Somnath Chatterjee and the President of India A P J Abdul Kalam have expressed shock over the attack.