A mentally disturbed undertrial prisoner being treated at Nimhans in Bengaluru snatched a rifle from a policeman and fired 23 rounds before he was shot and killed to end a three-hour standoff at the country's top mental health institute.
"Mentally unstable" Vishwanath, 22, was brought to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (Nimhans) from Parapanaagrahara central prison on the city's outskirts for treatment on Sunday. He snatched a rifle from one of the five policemen escorting him and started firing, a top police official said.
The prisoner had been taken to the guardroom for completing formalities when he requested the policemen to remove his handcuffs so that he could go to the toilet. As he came out of the toilet, he snatched the rifle and fired indiscriminately at the ceiling and floor, Bengaluru police commissioner NS Megharik told reporters. There were no casualties.
Police and the hospital staff tried to overpower Vishwanath but did not succeed, he said.
Police then forced him into a room and evacuated the staff and patients from nearby rooms. The commando force "Garuda" was rushed to the hospital and 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 shot him, seriously injuring him in his chest. A critically injured Vishwanath was rushed to another hospital, where he later died.
Megharik said Vishwanath, who was allegedly involved in a murder and arson case, was mentally unstable and regularly underwent treatment at Nimhans.