BENGALURU: Karnataka Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanatha Shetty was stabbed multiple times and critically injured by a disgruntled 33-year-old complainant at the headquarters of the quasi-judicial anti-corruption watchdog on Wednesday afternoon. He is said to be “out of danger” after he underwent multiple surgeries at a private hospital.The incident raised questions about the security at the Multi Storeyed Building where the Lokayukta office is located within the high security neighbourhood of Vidhana Soudha. It has also fed fodder to the opposition rants of Siddaramaiah’s government running a “Goonda Raj” and presiding over a rapidly deteriorating law and order situation in the state.
Seventy-four-year-old Justice Shetty has sustained critical injuries in his chest, abdomen, left hand, right thigh and superficial scratches on his face. The attacker, Tejraj Sharma, was arrested immediately. Tejraj, a furniture supplier to government offices, is said to have been angered by the Lokayukta’s dismissal of several complaints filed by him against various government officials.
Logbooks at the entrance of the Lokayukta office show that Tejraj Sharma, a native of Rajasthan and a resident of Tumakuru, 80km from Bengaluru, had entered the premises at 12.45 pm and had waited for Justice Shetty, who in his typical habit, had agreed to see the last visitor before lunch.As soon as Tejraj entered Justice Shetty’s chamber, he launched a brutal knife attack on the Lokayukta, who was caught unawares.
Questions have been raised about why the supposed-to-be security cordon failed to prevent Tejraj entering the premises with a knife. Security measures were tightened at the Lokayukta office later in the day.
Former Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde even pointed out that a faulty door-frame metal detector had not been rectified despite repeated reminders.Chief Minister Siddaramaiah directed the state police chief (DG&IGP) to order a detailed probe into the attack. Later, City Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar handed over the probe to the Central Crime Branch.
Doctors at Mallya Hospital, where Justice Shetty is admitted, have stated that he is out of danger. The 74-year-old is a diabetic and has previously undergone a heart bypass surgery for which he was on blood thinner, which had resulted in loss of much blood.
He blocked frivolous plaints
Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanatha Shetty, who took charge as the Lokayukta on January 29, 2017, has given priority to restoring the image of the Lokayukta. Justice Shetty had invited the wrath of some activists by directing Additional Registrars (enquiry) to blacklist those who were extorting money from govt officials by filing frivolous complaints. His vast experience as judge helped him prioritise problems of the common man and ensure government schemes reached them.
WHO IS TEJRAJ?
33-year-old Tejraj Sharma hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons on Wednesday after stabbing Karnataka Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanatha Shetty in Bengaluru. Tejraj who is from Tumakuru, supplies furniture to government offices. He seems to have a dubious background of blackmailing officials by filing cases with the Lokayukta. On Wednesday, the police recovered books on black magic and concentration techniques from Sharma’s small room, where he was living alone. His brother describes him as an introvert and a short-tempered person. Their father late Roopchand Sharma of Pali district of Rajasthan had migrated along with his family to Tiptur three decades ago.