Vishwanath, 22, who fired from a .303 rifle at Nimhans on Sunday, had undergone training in using such rifles as an NCC cadet.
The .303 rifle contains a cartridge of five bullets. It can be reloaded with a cartridge or also with single bullets. “We wondered how Vishwa fired 23 bullets by reloading the rifle. A common man will not be able to reload a rifle without prior training. Later, we found that he had undergone NCC training during his school days when he had learnt to handle a .303 rifle,” a senior police officer told Deccan Herald.
Vishwa was admitted to Nimhans on July 27, 2015. He was mentally unstable and was undergoing treatment for over a couple of years. The doctors suggested jail officials to admit Vishwa as he had to undergo treatment, a police source said.
“Usually, undertrials who come for treatment for mental health issues are tied up and handcuffed. The guards stay with them to make sure that they do not flee or injure themselves. The guards had kept five .303 rifles, along with a box containing cartridges and bullets. On Sunday evening, the constable freed Vishwa, as he wanted to go the toilet. When the guard was talking to someone, Vishwa noticed the unattended rifle, picked it up and started firing at the ceiling,” the source said.
The officer said that usually, a constable accompanies the undertrial to the toilet. But in this case, they are not sure if Vishwa went alone. “It is learnt that the constable and Vishwa had become friends. Vishwa behaved freely with the constable, who thought the undertrial was not harmful,” the officer said.
Vishwanath, a resident of Kavalbyrasandra in DJ Halli police station limits, is the eldest son of Bhagya. He was leading a life of a vagabond and used to visit home once a week. He was mentally unstable and indulged in illegal activities. In 2012, he was arrested by the DJ Halli police as he was caught setting vehicles on fire. Two cases of vehicle burning were registered against him and he was sent to jail.