07 March, Bengaluru
In a daring daylight crime, an attempt was made to murder Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Vishwanath Shetty by a person who was arrested by police while escaping after committing the crime.
As Justice Shetty shouted with pain, the police rushed inside his chamber and were shocked to see him with blood oozing out from the body. He was immediately rushed to Mallaya Hospital and Dr Anand attending him stated that he is out of danger.
The culprit was identified as Tejraj Sharma, a native of Rajasthan and staying in Tumakur in Karnataka.
Commissioner of Police Sunil Kumar told newsmen that since Justice was wearing a blazier the knife has not gone deep into his body. He was stabbed on the arm, on chest and leg, he said.
Expressing his anger over the incident, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah ordered an inquiry into the lapse in security. He also ordered installation of a metal detector.
Sources said that the arrested Sharma was supplier of furniture to government offices and had filed complaint with the Lokayukta against 18 government officials after he was denied continution of tender. However, his complaint against the officers were dismissed and the officers were given clean chit. Sharma came to meet Justice Shetty to discuss about dismissal of his complaint and all of a sudden he removed knife, he was hiding, and stabbed him mercilessly.
Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy who visited the hospital and the Lokayukta office ordered a detailed inquiry into the lapses on the part of security and a through investigation.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who rushed to the hospital on hearing the news later told newsmen that Justice Shetty had been stabbed in three or four places. the Doctors said he was out of danger, yet one of the stab wound is said to be serious.
He said the culprit Tejraj Sharma had come to meet the Lokayukta in connection with a complaint he had lodged against a government official with regard to a tender. He said that the loyakyuta police had completed investigation and closed the case. Tejraj Sharma had come prepared with a knife and attacked the Lokayukta soon on entering his chamber. Sharma was apprehended by the security guards outside the chambers of Lokayukta when he tried to flee the scene after the murder attempt.
Mr Siddaramaiah said that he had asked Director General of Police Neelamani Raju to take urgent action to verify the antecedents and the background of the culprit. He had also asked the officials to look into security lapse and take appropriate action.
He said doctors attending to Justice Shetty said that he was out of danger. He had asked the doctors to provide him the best medical care.
Meanwhile, former Deputy Chief Minister and BJP senior leader R Ashok demanded resignation of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah owing moral responsibility and urged the Centre to impose President rule in the State.
“It was unfortunate to see such crimes taking place in the State which was known for peace and safest State. Law and order has totally collapsed under the Congress rule,” he alleged.
Opposition leader in the Legislative Assembly Jagadish Shettar, strongly condemning the incident, alleged that it is a clear example of law and order failure under Congress rule. The attack has taken place in a public office and not in a secret place. If such is the situation at a highly secured place what will be the fate of common public, he questioned.
BJP Karnataka unit president B S Yeddyurappa, expressing shock over the attack, demanded the State government to ensure severe punishment to all those who were involved in the incident. He also said that he would pray God wishing Justice Shetty a quick recovery.
He said the incident had proved that law and order situation had collapsed in the state and the Congress government was responsible for the ‘goonda raj’ in the state. The incident proved that miscreants attacking a Lokayukta and the law and order situation had hit its lowest ebb in Karnataka.