Jharkhand Director General of Police MV Rao on Friday advised police officers not to hesitate to shoot at criminals carrying firearms, PTI reported.

While attending a meeting with officials in Jharkhand’s Dumka city, he was informed about a local criminal Munna Rai who recently fired at a businessman, injuring him, and threatened other businessmen in the area. Taking note of the incident, Rao asked officers not to be afraid of criminals and to shoot them if it was not possible to put them behind bars, according to Aaj Tak.

“If someone is walking around with an illegal weapon, he is not roaming around to play with it or worship it...” Rao said, according to PTI. “If he is seen shooting, we have given clear instructions that the police should not hesitate in killing him.”

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Rao said that police personnel often hesitate to shoot, fearing litigations, but he has asked them to use weapons when needed.

In a video circulating on social media, Rao can be heard saying, in an apparent reference to a criminal, “I had given them [police] the task to get hold of him and prosecute him, or else he should be killed.”

He also claimed that the Jharkhand Police did not work under the influence of political pressures or caste and religious allegiances. “We are only answerable to the law and the courts...none of us have any political affiliations,” he said.

Rao further said that criminals who have been in jail for crimes involving illegal firearms will be investigated and their records will be maintained.

“If he is in jail then it’s fine,” the police officer said. “If he is out of jail, his whereabouts and recent activities will be probed, their houses will be searched and information will be collected from relatives and friends.”