Karnataka ombudsman stabbed, attacker held

Malfunctioning metal detector allowed attacker to enter Lokayukta office with a knife

Bengaluru: Karnataka Lokayukta, Justice P. Vishwanatha Shetty, had a miraculous escape on Wednesday after he was stabbed repeatedly by a disgruntled man at his office in Bengaluru, police said.

The attacker was arrested while Shetty is said to be out of danger.

Tejraj Sharma, 33, who was apparently unhappy with the ombudsman, managed to enter the Lokayukta office with a knife, taking advantage of a malfunctioning metal detector, authorities said.

“The man was immediately detained,” Bengaluru Commissioner of Police T. Suneel Kumar told reporters.

Shetty, 73, earlier a judge in the Karnataka High Court, was rushed to a private hospital in the city centre where doctors said he was out of danger.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah visited the hospital. “The doctors say he is out of danger.”

Initial investigations revealed that the metal detector detector in the Lokayukta office building was not functioning, Kumar said.

Sharma, a furniture supplier from Tumakuru, about 70 km northwest from Bengaluru, had filed a complaint about a local government office, the police said.

“He was allegedly unhappy that his complaint was not being heard. This could have been the motive for the attack.”

The accused had visited the Lokayukta office about four times earlier, Kumar said. “The act was premeditated and hence we have registered a case of attempted murder.”

Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy told the media earlier that the reason for the attack and how it happened were being investigated.

Shetty had also practised in the Supreme Court. He had taken charge as the state’s ombudsman in January 2017.

After the incident, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) blamed the ruling Congress for a “collapsed” law and order situation in the state.

“Criminals have reached the Lokayukta office. Continued apathy of the Siddaramaiah government in dealing with criminals has led to a situation where no one feels safe in Karnataka,” BJP’s Lok Sabha lawmaker Shobha Karandlaje tweeted.

BJP’s state unit president B.S. Yeddyurappa said: “It is high time the Siddaramaiah government get its act together and tackles the lawlessness in the state.”


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