Karnataka’s anti-corruption ombudsman or Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanath Shetty was stabbed in his Bengaluru office by a person, on Wednesday (7 March).
"A person stabbed the Lokayukta in Bengaluru, the accused has been taken into custody," Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy told the media in Bengaluru.
Justice Shetty was stabbed at least thrice by the assailant when he was hearing a case in his office. The Lokayukta, after being stabbed, fell on the floor bleeding. The attack was filmed on security cameras. The assailant has been identified as Tejas Sharma, who hails from Tumakuru and is a contractor.
Sharma was allegedly in a crowd of complainants who had come to meet the Lokayukta in his office on the ground floor of the MS Building.
The 74-year old Lokayukta was rushed to Mallya Hospital, where he was admitted to the critical care section. Justice Shetty was reported to be out of danger.
"He (the attacker) complained to the Lokayukta about some tenders. He assaulted the judge and he was alone. The judge is out of danger now," Ramalinga Reddy said.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was among the first to the visit the Hospital. Siddaramaiah said: "It looks like an attempt to murder. He had a big weapon in his hand. We are checking if there was a security lapse. Everything about his background will be investigated."
The Karnataka unit of the Congress said the Lokayukta preferred to be accessible to the people and there was hardly any security at his office.
"There was no bar for anybody. Anybody could access him with their grievances, there was no armed guard," said Brijesh Kalappa of the party and said the attacker was a mentally disturbed person. He denied there was any security breach behind the incident.
State BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa too condemned the incident saying, “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.”
Justice Shetty was sworn in as the Lokayukta on January 28, 2017. The post was empty for almost a year after his predecessor had to quit following a bribery scandal.
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