Karnataka: Lokayukta Stabbed Multiple Times In Office; Speculation of Possible Security Breach
Karnataka Lokayukta, Justice P Vishwanatha Shetty was stabbed multiple times in his office on March 7. The former High Court judge who was named as the state’s anti-corruption ombudsman last year was attacked by a man named Tejas Sharma. His condition is said to be stable now.
The assailant is said to be a bus conductor from Tumkuru. He identified himself as an advocate according to the Entry register at the Lokayukta office. The man reportedly stabbed Justice Shetty five times after which he fell on the floor bleeding.
After the attack, the police and security personnel who were outside the Lokayukta’s office rushed inside and pinned the attacker.
CM and other Cabinet Ministers Visit Justice Shetty in Hospital
Justice Shetty was immediately rushed to Mallya Hospital for treatment. His condition is said to be stable now.
Sharma was taken to Vidhan Soudha station. Karnataka Home Minister, Ramalinga Reddy said,”A person stabbed the Lokayukta in Bengaluru, the accused has been taken into custody.”
CM Siddaramaiah along with his Cabinet Colleagues, Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy, City Development Minister K.J. George and Water Resources Minister M.B. Patil and senior police officials visited Lokayukta at the hospital.
CM Siddaramaiah spoke to the journalists and said the assailant seemed to have entered the office with predetermined intention of killing the Lokayukta. He also added that a high-level inquiry has been ordered and the Director General and Inspector General of Police Neelamani N. Raju has been directed to check if there was any lapse in security.
Possible Security Breach
Former Lokayukta Santhosh Hegde called this an unfortunate incident. He said,” There’s a metal detector and the police are supposed to use a hand-held metal detector to frisk visitors. In this case, they have clearly not done it.”
It has been alleged that Sharma had filed a complaint against a government officer. It is being said that he was not screened properly.
Justice Shetty is said to be accessible to all. Calling the attacker a “madman”, Brijesh Kalappa of state’s ruling Congress said,”There was no bar for anybody. Anybody could access him(Justice Shetty) with their grievances, there was no armed guard.”
BJP representatives said that this incident shows the state of law and order in Karnataka. BJP state president B.S. Yeddyurappa said in a release,”The fact that a miscreant had the courage to attack the Lokayukta in his office is an indication of the weak law and order system.”
BJP leader and former Home Minister R. Ashok has demanded President’s rule to be imposed in Karnataka.