Bengaluru, DHNS: Tension gripped the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (Nimhans) in the City on Sunday evening when a mentally ill undertrial prisoner went on a shooting spree using a loaded .303 rifle. No one was injured in the incident.
After three hours of high drama, the elite Garuda commandos neutralised the gunman Viswanath alias Vishwa (22) by firing at him. He was critically injured and was operated upon at Nimhans. He died later in the night.
In all, Vishwa had fired 23 rounds with the rifle, the police said. The incident left hundreds of patients at the institute disturbed.
Vishwa of Kavalbyrasandra and three other mentally ill prisoners, along with a CAR police constable, were in one of the jail wards of Nimhans. Around 3 pm, Vishwa went to the toilet and, as he returned, he found the constable busy talking to someone with his .303 rifle left unattended on a chair.
Vishwa took the rifle and started firing at the ceiling. Around three to four policemen who were around rushed to the spot and tried to overpower him but in vain.
However, they whisked away the three other inmates from the ward.
The guards locked him up in the room. Vishwa, an NCC cadet familiar with weapons, reloaded the rifle and continued shooting at the ceiling, said the police. He also fired indiscriminately through the window.
The constables tried in vain to convince him to drop the weapon. They also tried to converse with him on loudspeaker. Efforts by Vishwa’s mother Bhagyamma to convince him to surrender also failed.
As the situation was getting out of hand, the police cordoned off the Nimhans campus and Garuda commandos were summoned. Within 30 minutes, a platoon of the Garuda Force reached the spot and took position around the ward, fearing a hostage-like situation.
Vishwa, who was silent for a while, peeped out of the window and noticed the commandos. He panicked and again started firing at the ceiling. He even tried to open fire at commandos through the window, an eyewitness told Deccan Herald.
To neutralise him, the Garuda commandos shot at him through the window. A bullet hit Vishwa’s right shoulder and he collapsed. The police and a few doctors opened the door and rushed him to an emergency ward.
Police Commissioner N S Mehagrikh said: “Initially, we tried to convince Vishwa. But he did not budge. A total of 23 bullets were fired but we still need to investigate how many bullets he has fired actually. He did not intend to kill anyone. The bullets hit the ceiling of the room. We still need to find out if the rifle was snatched or had the guard left it on a chair or a table.”
Bengaluru: Undertrial snatches rifle from guard, opens fire at Nimhans
Bengaluru: An undertrial opened fire randomly in the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) complex here today, creating a major scare, but there were no casualties.