BENGALURU: Following Wednesday’s horror at the Karnataka Lokayukta office, the VIP security wing of the city police installed a door frame metal detector at the entrance on Thursday. A male and a female staff were also deployed for frisking of visitors while a policeman in plainclothes was checking bags.
These security measures were taken as the city police drew flak from all sections of society after Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanatha Shetty was stabbed at his office by Tejraj Sharma.
Former Lokayukta Justice N Santhosh Hegde and former Upa Lokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi have pointed out that the city police ignored as many as 20 requests made by the office of the Lokayukta to enhance security since 2015. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had also pulled up the officials as the incident sent shock wave among public.“The measures taken are not enough to ensure foolproof security for the staff of anti-corruption agency, the office of which is located in M S Building right next to Vikas Soudha,” a source in Lokayukta said.
Presently, about nine police personnel, one each at the entrance of the building, at the strong room on the first floor and at the second floor adjacent to the Lokayukta’s chamber, are looking after the security in three shifts a day. “At least two police personnel should be deployed in each shift on each floor of the Lokayukta office which has total five floors. This apart, the number of CCTV cameras should also be increased,” the source added. Neither a baggage scanner nor any private enclosure to subject woman visitors to frisking was available even on Thursday.
Employees still in shock
Though people visited the Lokayukta office to file their complaints as usual on Thursday, the employees of Lokayukta institution are yet to come out of shock. “I didn’t sleep the whole night after seeing the ghastly attempt to kill Justice Shetty. That should not happen to anyone,” a staff said.“There are around 350 employees, including the officers in Lokayukta. As many people visit the office daily with their grievances, we cannot restrain them. If visitors carry out such an attack, what we can do? Security should be immediately enhanced,” added an official.
DCP suspended for security lapse
Deputy Commissioner of Police of Vidhana Soudha Security, Yogesh, has been suspended on charges of dereliction of duty following the attack on Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanatha Shetty. Yogesh was in-charge of the security of Vidhana Soudha, Vikasa Soudha, Legislators’ House, High Court and MS Building, where the Lokayukta office is situated. Following Wednesday’s incident where Justice Shetty was stabbed, Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy had sought a report from the city police about the incident and security lapses. As the report stated that there was a major security lapse which led to the attack, the Home Minister had instructed the Home Department to suspend the officer in-charge of security at Lokayukta office. As a result, Yogesh’s suspension order was issued on Thursday evening.
Panel to review security at courts, judges’ residences
Bengaluru: Within hours of the brutal attack on Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanatha Shetty, the Karnataka High Court constituted a security committee comprising judges and a registrar to review the security measures at the courts as well as residences of judges. In the notification dated March 7 issued by Ashok G Nijagannanaar, Registrar General of the high court, it was stated that the “Chief Justice is pleased to constitute the ‘Security Committee’ to look into various aspects relating to security in the functioning of the High Court at Bengaluru, Dharwad and Kalaburagi and at the residences of the Chief Justice and other judges with immediate effect..”. Meanwhile, the judicial officers are said to have discussed with the city police commissioner about the existing security measures at the High Court and the residences of judges in Bengaluru, Dharwad and Kalaburagi. The panel will hold a meeting on Saturday.