BENGALURU: Quick thinking by the gunman of Hebbal MLA Byrathi Suresh saved the latter’s life when a 43-year-old man tried to stab the legislator with a kitchen knife around 12.15 pm on Friday. The incident occurred at Byrathi village near Kothanur when Suresh was heading to KR Puram for a meeting. The MLA escaped unhurt after the gunman and car driver managed to nab the attacker.
Police interrogation of the accused Shivkumar alias Shivu revealed that he attacked the MLA out of frustration over not getting enough money to build his house which is under construction for the past three years. The MLA was not receiving his calls and had also blocked his number, Shivu told the police. Shivu, a resident of Byrathi, is a carpenter and lives with his mother Kamalamma, who has been working at Suresh’s house for the last three decades. Shivu himself had done some interior work at Suresh’s house recently.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-East) Bheemashankar Guled said that around 12.15pm, when Suresh was on his way to K R Puram along with his staff in his SUV, Shivu came on a two-wheeler and rammed the vehicle from the left side. The startled driver stopped the SUV to see who had done it. By then, Shivu went ahead, took a U-turn and rammed the SUV head-on a second time.
Suresh, who had by then recognised Shivu, got out of the car and questioned him. Suresh’s gunman Satyanarayana, however, grew suspicious and stopped the MLA from getting any closer to Shivu. That saved Suresh’s life, as Shivu instantly whisked out a kitchen knife and allegedly tried to stab the MLA.
“Satyanarayana snatched the knife as several onlookers rushed to Suresh’s rescue. They tied up Shivu’s hands behind his back and alerted the Kothanur police. The MLA escaped unhurt,” DCP Guled said.
Based on a complaint from Suresh’s driver Manjunath, the Kothanur police registered a case of attempt to murder and took Shivu into custody.
Suresh, who spoke to the media later, said, “I had a meeting with residents of Hoskote and KR Puram over civic issues and left home around noon. I have no idea who or what prompted Shivu to attack me. I know him since 30 years as he grew in the same locality. His father Srikantacharya was good friend of mine.”
A senior police officer said Suresh knows Shivu’s family well and had even given them Rs 2 lakh to help them construct their house.
Meanwhile, Shivu’s mother Kamalamma, told reporters, “He (Shivu) was mentally disturbed and was taken to NIMHANS for treatment. He was under depression since a few months.”
As per initial investigation, Shivu hatched the plot well in advance and had tracked the MLA’s movements for a few days. He had kept a kitchen knife with him and allegedly decided to kill Suresh. However, Shivu has remained tight-lipped about the motive.
However, during interrogation, Shivu is said to have told the police, “I wanted more money since my house is being built since three years and I repeatedly visited Suresh’s house. But I was not allowed to meet him. I even tried contacting him over phone, but Suresh did not answer my calls and even blocked my number. Upset over this, I decided to attack Suresh.”
Shivu is married to Padmavathi and the couple have two children. Padmavathi works in a printing unit and was not aware of the incident until she returned home on Friday.