Bengaluru:In a shocking incident, Karnataka Lokayukta P. Vishwanath Shetty was attacked and injured with a knife in his office on Wednesday.
The 73-year-old was taken to Mallya Hospital for treatment.
Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah said that the assailant, Tej Raj Sharma, entered Shetty’s cabin and attacked him with a knife multiple times. The chief minister added that the lokayukta was out of danger.
Though the motive behind the attack is not known, Siddaramaiah said that Sharma is a contractor who filed a police complaint, which was later taken up and investigated by the lokayukta’s office. Sharma has been detained for questioning.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) used the incident to score political points against the Congress government. The BJP, as a poll strategy, has repeatedly highlighted safety and security in the state to attack Siddaramaiah in the run-up to elections due later this year.
B.S. Yeddyurappa, president of the Karnataka unit of the BJP, said that the incident brings to light the lawlessness in the state. “This is an example of the dwindling law and order situation," Yeddyurappa said in a statement on Wednesday.
The BJP has been held multiple rallies across the state including the ‘Karnataka Suraksha Yatre’ and ‘Bengaluru Rakshisi Yatre’ to corner the Siddaramaiah government on the issue of law and order. On Tuesday, the party concluded a four-day yatra in Mangaluru that was addressed by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath among other leaders.
“I am shell-shocked at the incident #Karnataka #Lokayukta #Judge Sri Vishwanath Shetty stabbed by a person in his chamber. This happens to an hon’ble judge in Karnataka. #Lawlessness prevails in Karnataka #Ask4SafeKarnataka. Let’s pray for Sri Vishwanath Shetty," Union minister and former Karnataka chief minister D.V. Sadanand Gowda tweeted.
“Criminals roam freely in Karnataka. First Congress MLA son attacks, now judge being stabbed in his office. It’s #GoondaSidduSarakara. Home minister are you there," he said in another tweet tagging state home minister Ramalinga Reddy.
Shetty, a retired Karnataka high court judge, was sworn in as the lokayuta in January last year.