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Prisoner dies in shootout at Bengaluru hospital

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Untitled_26_0_0_0_0A 22-year-old mentally-ill prisoner succumbed to death on Sunday after he was critically injured in a shootout at a state-run hospital here, police said.

“The under trial, Vishwanath, succumbed to injuries he sustained during the shootout at NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences),” said  Police Commissioner C.H. Pratap Reddy.

In a tweet, Reddy said, “NIMHANS prisoner operated upon. Despite the best efforts, he (prisoner) succumbed to the injuries sustained during commando operation.”

The shootout took place around 7 p.m. at the state-run at NIMHANS where Vishwanath locked himself up in a room after firing about 20 rounds indiscriminately with a .303 rifle which he had  snatched from a guard escorting him from the central jail for a check-up.

Known to be a notorious rowdy, Vishwanath was arrested in July 2012 in Bengaluru on a murder charge and lodged in the central jail on the city’s outskirts since then, pending trial.

“After jail doctors recommended treatment for Vishwanath’s mental illness and fiery temper, he was referred to NIMHANS for misbehaving with other inmates and turning violent,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) B.S. Lokesh Kumar told reporters earlier.

According to a witness, gun shots were heard around 3 p.m. from a patients’ ward, resulting in commotion, panic and screaming by many in-patients.As Vishwanath was being taken inside the hospital, he asked the escorting guard to allow him to go to the toilet.Emerging out of it, he suddenly snatched the .303 SLR (self-loading rifle) with chain-belt of bullets from the guard’s hand and threatened to kill him and in-patients if they tried to capture him.

Police summoned Garuda commandos of the internal security, trained to deal with such situations, to neutralise Vishwanath and take him out alive.”The commandos cordoned off the building in which the prisoner was holed up after in-patients were shifted to other wards,” Kumar said.

Being Sunday, the hospital in the southern suburb did not have many people, as out-patients are not seen on a holiday and majority of doctors had a day off.
Commissioner of Police N.S. Megharikh and ACP Reddy rushed to the hospital to supervise the operation.

(IANS)

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Mental patients must not be neglected: President Pranab Mukherjee

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Bengaluru: People facing mental health issues should not be subjected to neglect and marginalization, President Pranab Mukherjee said at an event at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurological Sciences (NIMHANS) to dedicate it as an institute of national importance on Tuesday.

It is also an important priority to address the stigma experienced by persons who are mentally ill. They should not continue to be subjected to neglect and marginalisation.

Mukherjee lauded the objective of the National Mental Health Policy to speedily integrate mental health care services into general health care as part of non-communicable diseases, highlighting that India got its first comprehensive mental health policy only as recently as October.

I am glad to note that it (the policy) covers several aspects of mental health – including the rights of the mentally ill, the need to provide support to care givers, decriminalisation of suicide – and other progressive policy initiatives.

Mukherjee called upon medical institutions to adopt IT to invigorate healthcare delivery.

The use of IT to invigorate health care delivery also helps in reducing costs, optimising resource management and minimising paperwork. The e-hospital and e-project programmes taken up by NIMHANS are, therefore, excellent initiatives, worthy of emulation by other institutions.

Appreciating NIMHANS’ initiatives like brain bank, free legal aid clinic in its outpatient block, centre for well-being, centre for public health and centre for addiction medicine, he said: “I have no doubt that NIMHANS will continue to inspire and support the development of the mental health sector at state, national and even international levels.(IANS)(Picture Courtesy:economictimes.indiatimes.com)