While former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra's mortal remains were being cremated with full state honours on Wednesday, guns toted by 22 police personnel failed to fire a single shot.
Hours after the cremation took place at Balua Bazar, Mishra's ancestral village in Supaul district, local news channels began beaming video footage of the embarrassing spectacle.
A senior official could be seen hastily testing guns of a couple of police personnel, trying to test whether the weapons had any life left by pulling the trigger, only to resign himself to the anticlimax.
The episode, which took place in the presence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and many other dignitaries, has raised hackles at the police headquarters here.
"This is a serious lapse. It was imperative to ensure that the guns were functional and the cartridges used therein were usable. We have sought an explanation from the district police of Supaul in this regard," a senior official said here on the condition of anonymity.