Around 1.30 pm, Purushottam and his colleague, both gunmen posted outside the chambers of Justice Vishwanatha Shetty, the Lokayukta of Karnataka, heard screams from the room.

As they rushed in, along with others who had been waiting or walking in the corridor, what they saw was a man holding the Lokayukta, a knife in his hands.

Purushottam started yelling, pointing his gun at the attacker.

"I could not see properly as Purushottam was blocking my view. But I heard him tell the attacker to drop the weapon or he would shoot," a staffer who had rushed into the room told TNM.

Soon, people who had gathered in the room disarmed Thejaraj Sharma and took him away from the Lokayukta's chambers.

As some of the staffers crowded around the Lokayukta trying to move him out to the hospital, others locked Thejaraj in a room in the building.

According to the visitors’ log, the accused Thejaraj Sharma had entered the building at 12:45 pm on Wednesday.

The absence of security personnel with frisking devices made it easy for Thejaraj Sharma to sneak in a kitchen knife, police say. He then went up to the second floor, where the Lokayukta’s chambers is located and waited to be called in. At around 1.20pm, Thejaraj handed over his appointment chit to one of the gunmen stationed outside the Lokayukta’s chamber. Eight minutes later, Thejarajraj Sharma was called in and he entered Justice Shetty’s chamber.

“The attacker was behind Justice Shetty when he stabbed him. Thejaram stabbed the Lokayukta partially on the right side and that is when Justice Shetty screamed. The gunman then came in and threatened to shoot the attacker,” said a police official.

Jayanna, a lawyer, who was present in the building during the incident told TNM, “I was looking through some case files. At that time, I was not facing his room. I heard some commotion. By the time I went in and looked around, Justice Shetty had fallen to the ground. Meanwhile, close to seven to eight persons got hold of the stabber and locked him inside a room till the police came."

Nikhil, a bank employee and another eyewitness said he was at the lobby connecting the quasi-judicial hall and Lokayukta’s chamber when the crime occurred. “I gave water to Justice Shetty till the ambulance arrives. Within 10 minutes, the ambulance and the cops came one after the other,” he said.

Complaints dismissed by Lokayukta
Hailing from Rajasthan, Thejaraj runs a furniture outlet in Tumakuru. Sources told TNM that he had filed four petitions with the Lokayukta in connections with bribes he had allegedly paid to 15 officials to secure government tenders. Having failed to win the tenders despite the alleged bribes, he had earlier approached the Lokayukta. However, his complaints were dismissed by the Lokayukta in December 2017. Since then, sources say that Thejaraj visited the Lokayukta at least 3-4 times until Wednesday’s stabbing.