BENGALURU: An undertrial who has been undergoing treatment at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) here on Sunday created panic when he snatched a rifle from a police escort and started firing indiscriminately inside the hospital premises.
After a three-and-half hour high drama and tension, the anti-terrorist Garuda team shot at him to neutralise him. He later succumbed to his injuries.
Speaking to reporters at NIMHANS where he was supervising the operations, City Police Commissioner N S Megharikh said Vishwanath, a resident of Kavalbyrasandra, was arrested by DJ Halli police in 2012 after he was involved in setting fire to some vehicles in the area.
The drama started when the guards escorting him opened his handcuffs to allow him to attend nature’s call. After returning from the toilet, Vishwanath pushed the escorts and snatched the rifle from one of them. When the escorts tried to restrain him, he tried to attack them. They then shoved him into the nearby guard room and locked him up. Five rifles and more than 100 live bullets were kept in an almirah in the room.
Police said Vishwanath broke open the almirah, took the bullets, loaded the rifle and fired 23 rounds, mostly at the ceiling, the wall and the ground. Senior police officers from the Internal Security Division along with the Garuda team rushed to the spot. Meanwhile, his regular escort tried to convince him to drop the weapon.
As Vishwanath did not respond, his mother Bhagyamma was brought to the spot to persuade him. But that too failed.
When the senior police officers and the Garuda team, who were monitoring the happenings on the CCTV realised he was posing a grave danger, the latter shot at his chest through the window to neutralise him. He was taken to the emergency ward for treatment but he succumbed later.
The psychiatry department has six rooms where five patients were undergoing treatment. When Vishwanath started to open fire repeatedly, the patients were immediately shifted but two doctors and a driver ran away fearing for their lives.