Bangalore: A woman lawyer was stabbed to death allegedly by her male colleague in the Karnataka High Court premises Thursday over a failed love affair, police said.
The attacker identified as Rajappa, 28, an advocate, stabbed J.S. Naveena, 25, several times with a knife and then attempted to commit suicide by slitting his throat and consuming poison. He also attempted to stab himself in the stomach, Cubbon Park police Sub-Inspector Jagdish said.
Court proceedings were suspended for the day after the incident, that occurred around 2 p.m. when the area was deserted as it was lunch time.
This is the first such incident in the imposing red-brick building in the heart of Bangalore.
Rajappa is battling for life in a private hospital, Jagdish said.
Police are probing whether a failed love affair was the cause for the murder and are questioning friends and acquaintances of Rajappa.
A profusely bleeding Naveena, wearing the lawyers` black gown, was rushed to the government Victoria Hospital but she had died by then.
The murder outside court hall no. 4 on the first floor of the two-storey building, built in 1868, sent shockwaves among the judges, lawyers and litigants.
Chief Justice PD Dinakaran, who has not been attending court for months over land grab allegations against him, rushed to the court after hearing the news.
Home Minister VS Acharya and Law Minister S Suresh Kumar also visited the court to find out details from the police. Suresh Kumar described the murder as "shocking".
"At the first sight, it appears to be a freak incident. An aberration in the legal profession," the law minister told reporters.
"Action will be taken against the accused. The police have registered a case and will investigate to ascertain why he killed Naveena," he said.
A senior lawyer Subramanya Jois told a local TV channel that he saw the two talking to each other and within minutes he heard the woman shout in agony "ayyo, ayyo".
"There was no heated argument or loud voices when I saw them talking. I rushed to see what happened and found the woman bleeding profusely. I tried to catch the man but he tried to escape. Finding no route to escape he stabbed himself and later rushed into a bathroom. I locked the door even as I shouted for help," Jois said.
Jois said he tried to give water to the bleeding woman but she could not swallow it. "The wounds appeared very deep and she lost a lot of blood. It was all over in two or three minutes," he said.