Attack on Lokayukta was premeditated, say police

Attack on Lokayukta was premeditated, say policeTejraj had bought a five-inch kitchen knife from a shop at Chickpet in Bengaluru

Tejraj Sharma, 33, who stabbed Lokayukta P. Vishwanatha Shetty multiple times in his official chamber on Wednesday, has been remanded in police custody till March 12. Police Commissioner T. Suneel Kumar has ordered the case to be probed by the Central Crime Branch.

The police said Tejraj believes that he had been wronged, first by government officials and then by the Lokayukta. According to investigators, evidence points that he did not attack Mr. Shetty in a fit of rage. “The act was definitely premeditated as he carried the knife on him and entered the Lokayukta office,” said a police officer.

Tejraj, who is into furniture business in Tumakuru, had filed four complaints last year with the Lokayukta after his bids for government projects got rejected. Investigations into two complaints were closed for lack of evidence. “He was unhappy that the cases were closed and that the Lokayukta had refused to reopen them despite repeated appeals,” said the police officer .

In his statement to the police, Tejraj claimed he left Tumakuru at 10 a.m. on Wednesday and reached the city by 12 noon. He bought a knife from a shop at Chickpet here before heading to M.S. Building which houses the Lokayukta office. “We are still to verify the statement. He used a regular kitchen knife with a five-inch blade. It was a poorly made one and got bent when he stabbed the Lokayukta repeatedly with it,” the officer said.

After he was remanded in police custody, a team took Tejraj to Tumakuru for the panchanama (documentation) process. “He has rented a room at Birdu Male on the outskirts of Tumakuru city. We recovered books and documents related to the complaints he had lodged with the Lokayukta,” said a police officer who was part of the team that escorted Tejraj to Tumakuru. Tejraj was brought back to Bengaluru late in the evening.

A police team will take him to Chickpet to identify the shop from where he bought the knife. This will most likely be done on Friday, the police said.

Lokayukta stable

The condition of Lokayukta P. Vishwanatha Shetty, who was stabbed multiple times on his chest, abdomen, hand, thigh, and face on Wednesday, is stable.

A team of doctors, led by consultant cardiothoracic surgeon Diwakar Bhat in Mallya Hospital, who is attending on the Lokayukta, said he was improving. Soon after he was rushed to the hospital, the Lokayukta underwent multiple surgeries in a four-hour procedure.

Dr. Bhat told The Media on Thursday that the Lokayukta was improving, oriented and conscious. “He is sitting on the chair and reading newspapers,” the doctor said.

Asked about Mr. Shetty’s diet, the doctor said he was on intravenous fluids as of now. “Based on his condition tomorrow (Friday), we will take a call on allowing him to eat,” the doctor said.

The Lokayukta has suffered three injuries on his chest, two on the abdomen, one each on the hand and thigh, and two on the face. One of the more serious stab wounds was in the abdomen region where there was excessive bleeding.

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