Karnataka Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanath Shetty was on Wednesday stabbed at least three times inside his office in Bengaluru. He is in hospital and is now in a stable condition, ANI reported. A man has been arrested.
The accused was identified as Tejraj Sharma, who reportedly described his profession as an advocate in the entry register at the Lokayukta’s office, according to The Hindu. However, Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy said he was a contractor from Tumakuru, who had complained to the Lokayukta about “some tenders”.
Further inquiry is on, Commissioner of Police T Suneel Kumar told ANI.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah went to Mallya Hospital to meet Shetty soon after the incident, ANI reported.
Shetty, a former judge of the Karnataka High Court, was appointed the anti-corruption ombudsman of the state in January 2017. He is 74. His appointment came over a year after the previous Lokayukta, Y Bhaskar Rao, stepped down after allegations of an extortion racket, involving his son, being run from his office.
The Bharatiya Janata Party said the incident showed that law and order was deteriorating in Karnataka. The ruling Congress party, meanwhile, condemned the stabbing and said it was a “very sad” incident, News18 reported.
Union minister Ananth Kumar held Siddaramaiah and his party “fully responsible” for the attack. “It is unfortunate that in broad daylight, there has been a murderous attack on the Lokayukta,” he told ANI. “He is battling for his life in the hospital. This incident shows the deteriorating law and order situation in Karnataka. It is time for the Congress to go from Karnataka.”
Siddaramaiah denied there was a security lapse at the Lokayukta’s office, saying “a hundred people walk into the office every day”, according to The News Minute. However, The Times of India had earlier reported that the metal detector at the Lokayukta’s office in Bengaluru’s MS Building was defunct.
Assembly elections are due in the state later this year.