Friday 15 December 2017

Teenager shoots himself in head while taking 'selfie' with dad's pistol

Amandeep Singh survived the accident but remains in serious condition
Amandeep Singh survived the accident but remains in serious condition

An Indian teenager shot himself in the head while taking a “selfie” with his father’s revolver after he pulled the trigger instead of clicking the photograph.

The bullet grazed the forehead of Amandeep Singh, 15, who survived the accident on Friday night but remains in serious condition in a hospital in Punjab.

The gun, a .32-calibre pistol licensed to Amandeep’s father Gurkirpal Singh, was usually kept in a wardrobe in the house, according to police chief Manoj Kumar.

"The boy's father and family said that he was trying to take a selfie with his gun," said Mr Kumar. "We will speak to the boy when he is declared medically fit. We think that part of the blame obviously goes to the father for not keeping his loaded gun under lock and key at their home."

Neighbours in the town of Pathankot rushed to the family’s home upon hearing the gunshot, where they found Amandeep bleeding profusely, along with his elder sister, who had also been posing for the photograph but was uninjured.

They called the boy’s parents, who had been attending a local function, and the family were rushed to a hospital in the nearby city of Ludhiana.

The incident is the latest of a spate of “selfie” accidents to afflict India, where the craze is driven by Bollywood celebrities and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.

Half of all recorded deaths resulting from self-taken photographs took place in India last year.

So far this year, a man in Kerala was gored by an irate elephant while posing for a selfie at a temple in April, and a teenager in Chennai was killed by a train after posing near railway tracks.

Indians have also been killed falling out of boats, off cliffs and into canals in recent months. Mumbai has set up 16 “no selfie zones” at popular but dangerous locations after a tragic accident claimed two lives in January.

India overtook the US this year to become the world’s second-largest smartphone market, with 220 million users, behind only China.

India’s gun laws allow citizens to buy firearms with a government-issued licence, although the process is expensive and difficult.  There are six million registered guns in India, and up to an estimated 40 million illegal firearms.

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