BENGALURU: For Tejraj Sharma — a known face to the staff of Lokayukta office — it was not really tough to get into the Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanatha Shetty’s chamber. As he was a regular visitor there, no one imagined that he could try to kill the very head of the institution.Sharma came to the Lokayukta office and the defunct metal detector did not make any beep sound, as usual, identifying the knife he was carrying and alerting the staff. He made an entry in the visitors’ log. The time of entry was 12.45 pm and he mentioned ‘ARE-05’ (Additional Registrar of Enquiries -5) in the column meant to mention the official visitors intend to meet. After that he is said to have gone to the ARE’s office in the third floor and met the officer. He is said to have questioned why his petitions were closed in spite of giving all necessary documents and had witnesses. Though the officer tried to convince him about the legalities, Tejraj was not satisfied with that.
Then he came to the second floor, where Justice Shetty’s office is situated. After waiting for 10 minutes, he told the policeman there that he wants to meet the Lokayukta. He wrote his details in a visitors’ slip and it was sent to Justice Shetty. As it was lunch hours and Justice Shetty was also about to have his lunch in the anti-chamber, he decided to meet the visitor first. Palani, the jamedar, asked Sharma to go and meet the Lokayukta. It was 1.40 pm, when Sharma entered the chamber.
Within a few seconds, Justice Shetty started screaming and Palani rushed inside to check what was happening. Shocked to see Sharma stabbing the Lokayukta, Palani tried to stop him as also he started shouting for help. The Lokayukta’s gunman, Parashuram, came running sensing danger and found his boss lying in a pool of blood while Sharma wielding his bent knife at Palani. Parashuram pulled out his licensed weapon and cornered Sharma, while other policemen who had rushed by then, immediately shifted Justice Shetty outside. Palani and Parashuram locked the attacker inside Justice’s chamber and came out.
The lift, which was working till then, developed some technical snag and did not work for a while. The policemen, however, managed to shift the Lokayukta making him sit on chair and carried him out. He was put in the car of the ADGP of the Lokayukta and was rushed to Mallya Hospital.At the same time, more policemen rushed to the office and took Sharma into custody. He was stilling holding the bent knife, that was seized by the police. Meanwhile, hundreds of staff also gathered.
This is third case of security lapse, says Justice Adi
The incident is due to security lapses as metal detector is not working. The security personnel deployed at Lokayukta are not professional. They don’t know how to screen a person before they are allowed to enter the office. This is the third time the security lapse is coming to fore. Earlier, the CCTVs were not functioning when in-house corruption was reported. Thereafter, miscreants tried to set fire to the Lokayukta office. The third one is this incident.