Head of district opened fire on New Year's Eve and wounded two in a restaurant in Abkhazia
Shooting in Abkhazia
In Abkhazia, a high-ranking official wounded two people in a restaurant on New Year’s Eve. Only four days later, President Aslan Bzhania, by his decree, temporarily removed the shooter, who turned out to be the head of the Ochamchira regional administration, Beslan Bigvava, from his post.
Official information about what happened was very scarce. The press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs only stated that a man was taken to the Republican hospital with a gunshot wound, and that he was wounded in the Garuda restaurant in Sukhum.
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Nothing has been reported about another wounded – waitress of the establishment and nothing has been said about the suspects or those detained after the incident. “Investigative and operational measures are being taken to establish all the circumstances of the incident”, the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs briefly summed up the incident with the shooting.
Meanwhile, on social media, immediately after the name of the shooter became known, people began to accuse the authorities of shielding ‘their man’ and trying to hush up the case, and of double standards.
This is not the first shooting incident involving government officials in recent years – in September 2021, opposition MP Gary Kokaya was beaten by law enforcement officers after he began shooting into the air near a restaurant in the center of Sukhum.
This event provoked massive protests and a political crisis, which eventually cost the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs his position.
“Recently, on Victory Day, an opposition deputy saluted by firing a pistol into the air to celebrate, a few hours later a criminal case was promptly launched against him. Now, when the official wounded two people – “investigative and operational measures are being carried out”. And where is this law, before which everyone is equal? ”, writes one of the social media users.
However, Beslan Bigvava also had plenty of defenders. Residents of the Ochamchira region headed by him write collective letters in his support. After clarifying all the circumstances of what happened, they demand to return him to work, since “for the first time in the post-war years, our region acquired a head who was a principled person and everyone, without exception, believed in his impartiality, regardless of personal ambitions and political preferences”.
The residents of Ochamchire believe that Bigvava used weapons in self-defense. According to their version, Beslan Bigvava came to the restaurant with his own bottle of champagne, thus angering the administration of the establishment. A fight ensued, in which three waiters began to beat the head of Ochamchira, and he opened fire in self-defense.
A friend and colleague of the accused, the head of the Gali region, Konstantin Piliya, also believes Beslan Bigvava is not guilty. In an interview with Echo Kavkaza, Piliya, like residents of Ochamchira, interprets Bigvava’s actions as self-defense: “Five waiters and employees of Gvruda attacked the head of Ochamchira and beat him”.