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Undertrial opens fire, creates major security scare at NIMHANS

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Bengaluru :In a major scare at the country’s top mental health institute NIMHANS here, an undertrial snatched a rifle from an escort policemen and fired 23 rounds randomly before he was shot at and critically wounded at the end of a three-hour long drama.

The drama unfolded as 22-year-old “mentally unstable” Vishwanath was brought to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences from Parapanaagrahara central prison on city outskirts for treatment. He snatched a 303 SLR rifle from one of the five escort policemen and started firing, a top police official said.

The undertrial was taken to the guardroom for completing hospital formalities when he requested the policemen to remove the handcuff to go to the toilet which they did. As he came out of the toilet, he snatched the rifle and fired indiscriminately at the ceiling and floor, Bengaluru Police Commissioner N S Megharik told reporters, adding, there were no casualties.

Police and the hospital staff tried to overpower him but did not succeed, he said.

Police then locked him in one of the rooms and immediately evacuated the staff and patients from nearby rooms.

Commando force “Garuda” was rushed and they cordoned off the area. Efforts were made to persuade Vishwanath to give up the firearm.

“He did not even listen to his brother, who called him on his mobile,” Megharik said.

The commandos then entered the room and fired back at him seriously injuring him in his chest and rushed him to a hospital, Megharik said.

Vishwanath, whose condition is “serious”, fired 23 rounds, he said.

Megharik said Vishwanath, who is allegedly involved in a murder and arson case, is mentally unstable and is regularly brought to NIMHANS for treatment.

PTI