Sri Sri Ravi Shankar unhurt as gunman opens fire

Bangalore, May 31 (IANS) Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar escaped an apparent attempt on his life as an unidentified gunman opened fire at his convoy in his ashram here Sunday evening. The spiritual guru was unhurt and later addressed another discourse.

According to a press statement issued by the Art of Living International Centre, the gunman opened fire as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar left the venue after delivering a discourse. The guru was in the car when the shot was fired.

‘While leaving from public satsang (discourse) this evening in Bangalore, an unidentified gunman shot at Sri Sri’s convoy. It hit one the devotee’s thigh, causing a minor injury,’ the statement said.

Charu, an ashram devotee, told IANS that the firing incident happened around 6 p.m. ‘The bullet brushed past one of the devotees,’ she said.

She said the bullet was aimed at the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s vehicle but he was safe. ‘The police are investigating,’ she said, adding that the bullet had been found and handed over to the police. The assailant is believed to have slipped away.

Later speaking to Times Now channel, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said: ‘I am fine…and i want to tell all my devotees that i am fine. Everything is as usual at the ashram….we had a satsang after the incident.’

He declined to say who could be responsible for the incident.

Karnataka Home Minister V. S. Acharya told that a senior police official had gone to the ashram to conduct investigations. ‘I am waiting for details,’ he said. The minister, however, denied anyone has been injured.

‘He is one of our very important social leaders. He is a social reformer also,’ Acharya said, adding that the security at the ashram would be stepped up.

Girish Govind, a close associate of the spiritual leader, told Times Now news channel that the devotees in the Guruji’s – as he is known to his disciples – convoy heard a gunshot and soon crowded around him.

‘Nobody is in panic at the ashram or afraid of the situation,’ he said, adding, that the spiritual leader addressed a discourse later in which he talked about the firing incident.

Govind said the devotees suspect that the unidentified man who opened fire was a terrorist. ‘We do not suspect anybody from the ashram,’ he said.

He said the ashram had not been informed of any threat by the police. He said that they would look at measures to improve security.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has a vast following in the country and across the world.