BENGALURU:The Anti-terror Squad shot an undertrial prisoner who was firing indiscriminately from a self-loading rifle (SLR) he had grabbed from a guard room at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in the city on Sunday.
Tension gripped the campus for over three-and-half hours after Vishwanath (22), who was brought from Parappana Agrahara Central Jail to NIMHANS for treatment, fired 23 rounds, mostly at a ceiling fan, wall and the ground after he was locked inside the security room at the psychiatry department.
Security guards and escorts tried to stop him from grabbing the weapon, but when they failed, they locked him inside the guard room.
Speaking to reporters at NIMHANS where he was supervising the operations, City Police Commissooner N S Megharikh said Vishwanth was arrested by DJ Halli police in 2012 after he was involved in setting fire to local vehicles.
He was brought from the Parappana Agrahara central prison for treatment at NIMHANS regularly the last few years.
On Sunday around 3 pm he was brought to the ward for treatment and after a while he had told the escort team he wanted to urinate. They let him free after opening his hand cuffs.
After he returned from the toilet he pushed the escort and went inside the guard room where five rifles and more than 100 bullets were kept inside the almirah. The escorts tried to pull him but failed.
They then locked him inside the guard room and alerted Siddapur police who soon reached the spot. As he began shooting, senior police officers were alerted.
Senior officers from the Internal Security Division along with a Garuda team reached the spot.
Meanwhile one of the escorts who brought him regularly to hospital tried to convince him through a mike.
As Vishwanath did not respond, they tried to use his mother to convince him. She had been brought to the spot. But Vishwanath kept loading the weapon and firing at the wall and ceiling.
The Garuda team along with senior police officials who were monitoring the situation on CCTV realised he wouldn’t stop. The Garuda team then shot at his chest through the window to neutralize him. He was taken to the emergency ward for the treatment but he died, Megharikh added.
The psychiatry department has six rooms for patients and five were undergoing treatment.
As Vishwanath began firing repeatedly they were shifted. Two of the doctors and their drivers fled the premises fearing for life.