Saturday, December 31, 2005

Special paint to enforce lane rules

Special paint to enforce lane rules
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: It glows in the dark, and the police hope it will discourage motorists from transgressing lane rules.

City police are using reflective material to paint roads. The project, already begun on some roads, is expected to be completed early next year.

Blinking strips on busy roads will help motorists follow their lanes while driving at night. At present, motorists find it difficult to follow lanes as the paint is not very visible during the night.

“Developing lane discipline has always been our prime concern and the reflective paint will certainly help us,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic, East) M A Saleem told this website’s newspaper.

Motorists take sudden sharp turns on busy roads resulting in mishaps. The reflective paints and strict enforcement of lane discipline will avoid such accidents, he explained.

The powerful thermoplastic road marking paint is being used on busy roads. Compared to conventional paints, the new strips are more durable and effective. In Europe and the Middle East, motorists never skip lanes, he added.

This specially designed paint has a “refro reflective capacity”, said Girish Bhat, senior technical officer, Berger Paints. Berger is providing the paint.

“The strips glow when light falls on them and so motorists find it easy to see lanes and follow them,” he said. This paint has a thickness of 2.5 mm and lasts for nearly two years.

The new measure is expected to bring down the number of accidents on city roads. Every year, over 600 people die and thousands are injured in road accidents in the City.

BDA: Promises fulfilled and unfulfilled

BDA: Promises fulfilled and unfulfilled
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Some Promises are fulfilled and some left unfulfilled by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) this year. Lot of work was done in layouts and roads. The sewage water treatment plant at Cubbon park was also commissioned. But not a single flyover project was completed.

Perhaps the beginning of the year was inauspicious for the BDA since its major projects, got entangled in litigation. While its dream project of the Arkavathy layout offering 20,000 sites was quashed by a single bench of the High Court, the Airport Road and Jayadeva Circle flyover projects were stalled due to litigation.

Being hopeless, the BDA even refunded the initial deposits of the eligible applicants. But November brought cheers with the judgement by a divisional bench of the High Court given in favour of the project. The civic work on the layout has been going on a war footing.

As for the flyovers, promises fell flat. Of the three flyovers being built by the BDA, not a single flyover project was completed this year. People pinned hopes on the timely completion of the Anand Rao flyover, which was to come as a Rajyotsava gift to Bangaloreans. But the flyover is not yet completed and is expected to be opened in January.

Though the main flyover in the Jayadeva junction project was opened in the early part of the year, the underpasses are incomplete due to litigation. This deprives the BDA of the credit of completing a flyover project in the year.

Work on the Jayadeva flyover project and Airport Road flyover project was resumed in July after the High Court directed that the contractors, UP State Bridge Corporation Limited will continue with the project. BDA Commisioner M N Vidyashankar has said that the main flyover in the Airport road project will be completed by April 2006 and the entire project including the loop and grade level roads will be completed by July 2006.

The Jayadeva flyover project in all respects including the underpass and service roads is expected to be completed by April 2006, and the Bannerghatta side arm will be completed by February 2006. These dates are much ahead of the scheduled dates of completion.

The BDA is currently undertaking work worth Rs 2,500 crore, which is the highest in the country.

Work on the four laning of the road from the Airport to Kundenahalli was begun in December. Work on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) between Magadi road and Mysore road was also begun. Automation of lighting of ORR was also completed. Preliminary notification for land acquisitions for the Periferal Ring Road were also issued. Tenders were floated for the construction of two underpasses in Ramamurthinagar and Magadi Road- Chord Road Cross.

In layouts work relating to water supply, drainage and culverts were completed. HSR Layout and other layouts were immediately attended to after the havoc caused by rains.

The draft of the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) for the next year 10 years was also released. The CDP proposed to reduce the green belt to nearly 450 square kilometres from over 700 square kilometres, drawing objections from environmentalists. The final draft is awaited.

Govt fails to keep its promise

Govt fails to keep its promise
New Indian Express

The government has let down the city on its promise to improve the roads in the city. In September, the software industry threatened to boycott the in protest to the government’s indifference to the crumbling infrastructure and the government responded to it by promising to improve 19 roads on priority basis as suggested by the IT industry.

The government even set a deadline for itself and assured that the works would be complete by December. The Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) was exempted from the provisions of the Transparency Act as the works needed to be done urgently.

But even as December ends, no road has been repaired.

“It is sad that no work has completed as promised. If this can happen despite special status given to these works, what can the citizen expect from the civic body in regular works?

“The industry is meeting in the last week of January and we will get back to the government on the issue.”

Ananth Koppar, President of Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Bomb threat at EGL

Bomb threat at EGL
The Times of India

Bangalore: The IT industry in Bangalore is clearly going through some tense moments ever since Wednesday’s attack at IISc. At 12 noon on Friday, the Embassy Golf Links Business Park located at the Intermediary Ring Road received a call that a bomb has been planted at its premises. While the owners of the property were quick to act, work came to a grinding halt for almost the whole day.

Embassy Golf Links houses about 10 well-known companies including IBM, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Covansys, ANZ IT, LG Soft, Fidelity among others. All these companies employ close to 17,000 people operating out of the Park.

“One of the companies got a call and we issued our advisory to all companies. The police is yet to ascertain the source of the call. However, all employees were moved to designated safe assembly areas while the police and the bomb squad went about their search operations,’’ Rajan Vishwanath, head-property, Embassy Golf Link Business Park, said. By evening, the police gave clearance only for some buildings within the Park that had undergone thorough search operations. However, the day was unproductive for most employees.

The presence of several MNCs makes the IT capital a soft target for acts of terrorism, and the IISc incident clearly seems to have triggered off a fear factor.

According to George Huang, COO of Huawei Technologies, India, “Bangalore has earned a good reputation globally for its IT prowess. Such incidents will dampen the spirit of the prospective investors, MNCs operating in India and foreign nationals visiting India, and impact the image of the garden city.’’

Defence set-ups step up security

Bangalore: Security at the normally high security places like HAL, DRDO and NAL have been stepped up. However, the mechanism is more manual than technological i.e. security has been beefed up only manually with security personnel. “We do not have the roving cameras — the cost is exorbitant and you need towers to activate them. They are used as very high-security measures,’’ said a HAL official.

2006 Bumper Offer; More Promises

2006 Bumper Offer; More Promises
Deccan Herald

Sadak, bijli and makaan for all. The end of potholes. Traffic jam-free streets. Landscaped sidewalks. Super-fast transport connectivity. Drains that never flood. Garbage that never overflows.... Come 2006, Bangaloreans’ dreams will all come true, if civic authorities can keep their new year resolutions.

The action-packed high point of next year is likely to be the merger of the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) with the seven City Municipal Corporations (CMCs). However, how and when that will happen still rests with the Government.

Meanwhile, the BMP has promised to repair all damaged roads in the busy districts by March 2006. Sidewalks will be repaired, skywalks added and boulevards built. All busy intersections will have flyovers.

The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), still celebrating the High Court’s go-ahead to Arkavathy Layout, is likely to allot sites next year. It is also going to announce its biggest residential layout, with 50,000 sites, in early 2006. The peripheral ring road, hi-tech city corridor and nearly four flyovers will be work-in-progress next year. And the work on the pending three grade separators — on Airport Road, Anand Rao Circle and Jayadeva Circle — will finally see “The End”. It is also planning to install quick-to-fix steel flyovers in four locations in the City.

The Bangalore Traffic Police is going to introduce B-Trac, touted as the ultimate traffic management solution. Under this project, over 150 signals in jam-prone areas will be controlled by a centrally monitored computerised system.

Bangalore Metro rode on hope this year. Hopefully the controversies of Monorail Vs Metrorail and Deve Gowda Vs Metrorail will subside, and the metro project will get into action in 2006. The Cabinet clearance is expected in January, and if things go by schedule, the bhoomi pooja will be on Sankranti Day.

For globe-trotting Bangaloreans, check-in blues will end when the Common Users Terminal Equipment (CUTE) system will be introduced in 2006. Under this system, every check-in counter will be equipped to handle the formalities for all the airlines.

With a package deal like that, Bangaloreans just can’t wait for the new year to set in!

How clean is your valley?

Despite a ‘flood-proof’ topography, bad drainage system, encroachments and choked stormwater drains have caused flashfloods this year. Even the ambitious remodelling project of four major valleys, taken up at a cost of Rs 600 crore, has failed to give hope, largely because of the slow progress of work. Only 20 per cent of the work has been done in Koramangala and Challaghatta valleys in the last six months. The two valleys are to be remodelled by 2006-end. Meanwhile, even the preliminary work of awarding works is pending in the case of Vrishabhavati and Hebbal valleys.

Name of valley Total length (metres) Work done Deadline

Koramangala 56,135 Desilting, November, 2006

bed concreting

Challaghatta 26,745 Desilting December, 2006

Hebbal 51,655 Pending Awaits Cabinet approval

Vrishabhavathi 90,420 Pending Awaits Cabinet approval

Flying high on flyovers

Flyovers-under-construction might be a bane for Bangaloreans, but for BMP and BDA, they seem to be an inspiration. Both the agencies are going to add several grade seperators next year, with the ultimate target being 25 flyovers on the core ring road itself.

Grade Separators/Flyovers likely to be taken up in 2006:

Yeswanthpur Circle BMP

Malleswaram Circle BMP

Gali Anjaneya Circle BMP

Ramakrishna Circle BMP

RV Teachers’ College BMP

Tagore Circle BMP

Magadi Rd-Chord Rd BDA

Shantala Circle BDA

Ramamurthy BDA

Main Rd


Parking trouble

When multi-level car parks were inaugurated this year, it was believed to be the end of all parking woes.

However, this was not to be. Three car parks at KG Road, JC Road and Magarath Road were inaugurated this year, but Bangaloreans still prefer to park on the road. While Magarath Road’s Garuda complex became more famous for its mall, JC Road Complex did not even have this claim to fame. The facility at KG Road, though officially
inaugurated, is yet to allow vehicles inside.

Down the wrong lane

The Bangalore Traffic’s plan to create vehicle-oriented traffic lanes failed to take off. The department, finally realising that the City’s roads had too many junctions for such pilot projects, has now decided to go in for
direction-based laning. This work is expected to be taken up in early 2006.

Skywalk to nowhere

*Installed at Airport Road, Residency Road and Jayanagar.
* Not very successful among pedestrians.
* 28 more skywalks, at a cost of Rs 171 crore, in 2006.

The Pot-holu story continues...

Deadlines come and deadlines go, but potholes stay forever.

Five major roads in the City were earmarked for upgradation by December 15, but a fortnight past the deadline, only 50 per cent of the work is over. Another batch of six roads is in-waiting, with a January 15 deadline. Authorities say 15-20 per cent of the work is done till now. Given this rate of progress, are Bangaloreans in for a long wait?

Promises carried forward

Name of Length Estimate cost Deadline

the road (in Kms) (Rs in lakhs)

MG Road 1.3 39.75 Dec 15

Ulsoor Road 1.8 119.5 Dec 15

Airport Road 1 36.3 Dec 15

20th Main Road,

Koramangala 1.5 185.5 Dec 15

J B Nagar 1.6 75.5 Dec 15

IISc chief says no to high security

IISc chief says no to high security
Deccan Herald

Director of IISc Prof P Balaram does not want the premier institute to be turned into a high security zone despite the terrorist attack, saying the ambience would be lost if it is ...

Director of Indian Institute of Science Prof P Balaram does not want the premier institute to be turned into a high security zone despite the terrorist attack, saying the ambience would be lost if it is turned into an “armed fortress”.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Prof Balaram said the attack that occurred on Wednesday was not normal, “It could happen anywhere, anytime and we were amid one”. Terrorism has now become a part of modern life, he said.

“The ambience of the University will be lost if you convert it into an armed fortress,” Prof Balaram said.

“Along with high security comes many other problems like that of access and freedom,” he said.

Prof Balaram strongly favoured security which was unobtrusive, modern and discreet.

“I hope that will be possible.” Asked if the Intelligence Bureau or the police had alerted the IISc about a possible terrorist strike, he replied in the negative.

Stating that things were normal at the institute, he said he has received overwhelming support from institutions across the country which expressed solidarity. Prof Balaram said the conference which the terrorist had targeted was not one that would normally attract a terrorist attack.

He denied that the institute has received any oral or written suggestion from the police to review the security on the campus.

City police release assailant’s sketch

City police release assailant’s sketch
Deccan Herald

Bangalore Police Commissioner Ajai Kumar Singh said there “are no specific clues” about the suspect involved in the attack at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).....

Bangalore Police Commissioner Ajai Kumar Singh said there “are no specific clues” about the suspect involved in the attack at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). However, a portrait of the suspected terrorist who killed a retired IIT professor in indiscriminate firing on the IISc campus was released by the Bangalore City Police on Friday.

Addressing the media, Mr Singh said the portrait was generated on the basis of descriptions given by an eyewitness at the IISc. The portrait copies “will be dispatched to other parts of the country” and a “handsome reward will be given” to anybody who leads the police to the culprit. However, the portrait in itself may not be considered a vital lead. Otherwise, there “has been no breakthrough” as such in the investigations and no one “has claimed responsibility for the attack so far,” he said. Investigations so far seem to point that only one was involved in the attack.

Mr Singh denied that three others were nabbed in Hyderabad in connection with the IISc attack as reported in some sections of the media. There has been no information about this from the Hyderabad police.

Special teams have been sent outside the State but so far no significant clues have been found. The City police are coordinating with their counterparts in Rajasthan, Hyderabad, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Mumbai and also with the Central and State Intelligence. No assistance has been sought from the Central forces. However, information is being shared, he said.

The police are contemplating setting up a separate counter-intelligence wing on the lines of other metropolitan cities in the country.

He regretted that mobile patrolling system in the City was poor and said the government was considering upgrading it.

The police will also coordinate with premier institutes like IISc to ensure security whenever events like a conference is held.

On the fax message that claimed that blasts will occur at the Hotel Grand Ashok and chief minister’s residence, he said if the destruction was intended, a message would not have been sent so early. However, as a precautionary measure, security has been beefed up at the CM’s residence.

Speaking to reporters after a brief interaction with the faculty of IISc, M Singh said the police have not dismantled the three live grenades that were recovered from the scene of the shoot-out so as to ascertain the source.

One held for Bangalore IISc attack

One held for Bangalore IISc attack
Deccan Herald

Central security and intelligence agencies on Friday hoped to make an early breakthrough in their investigation into Wednesday’s terrorist attack on the IISc campus in Bangalore as they took into custody one person in the City on suspicion of his involvement in it.

Top sources in the Union Home Ministry refused to divulge the identity of the person who was arrested in Bangalore during the day in cooperation with the Karnataka police. Revealing his identity at this stage might not help, the sources said, adding he would be subjected to a thorough interrogation over the next couple of days. However, Bangalore Police Commissioner Ajai Kumar Singh has said that there “are no specific clues” about the suspect.

It is suspected that at least three terrorists would have been directly involved in the attack. One of them had indiscriminately fired at the delegates while they were coming out of the Tata Auditorium and about his physical appearance some of the injured have a fairly good idea. It is suspected that another terrorist would have been present on the spot providing cover to the assailant and a third one outside the spot providing back-up logistics for safe escape from the scene.

The sources do not completely rule out the involvement of Lashkar-e-Toiba. But they believe that the attack might also have been carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammad, the outfit launched in Pakistan by Maulana Masood Azhar five years’ ago. The Maulana and two other terrorists were released by the Indian government from Jammu prison in exchange for freeing the hijacked IC-814 Indian Airlines flight at Kandahar around this time of December in 1999.

JeM hand seen

Suspicions about the possible involvement of the JeM is in view of intelligence assessment that the terrorists involved in the IISc attack were probably not “very well trained”. Most of the JeM terrorists caught elsewhere in the country so far were not very well trained whereas the training and motivation levels of LeT are of a much higher level, the sources said. If the terrorists were well trained they could have used the weapons at their disposal to deadly effect and, therefore, the casualty could have been higher. The terrorists had with them close to 300 bullets. A pistol was recovered from the scene of attack and as many as five magazines were found to be partially used by the attackers.

As they examined the markings on the bullets and grenades recovered from the spot, intelligence officials have also found that the markings were “tampered with”. Preliminary assessment is that the grenades could be of Pakistan origin, the sources said. Also recovered from the spot was dry date fruits.

Meanwhile, hours after the Bangalore police released the sketch of the suspects four alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) activists were arrested in Hyderabad on Friday for their suspected involvement in the shoot-out, UNI adds from Hyderabad. Police, on an intensified security check, intercepted four youth suspected to be LeT and Kashmiri Jihad Group activists. The Bangalore police had tipped off the city police and coordinated the arrests of four activists. While senior police officials would not comment, police sources said that the four LeT suspects were being interrogated jointly by the Special Bureau Intelligence group of the AP police and their counterparts from Karnataka along with IB officials.

Battered but unbowed

Battered but unbowed

The Indian Institute of Science campus, home to some of the finest minds in the country, is also not lacking in spirit

The Hindu

Shock and disbelief, grief and raw emotion have settled thick on the temple of science and reason. They are palpable in the voices of professors and students, researchers and administrators at the Indian Institute of Science, and in the voice of the scientific community of the city who are trying to cope with the death of a fellow professor, and the fact that a terrorist gunned him down in their peaceful Bangalore.

Even as they come to terms with the shock of Delhi IIT professor M.C. Puri's gruesome death, there is also a sense of defiance in them saying they will ride this tragedy and won't be intimidated by such dastardly acts.

It has just been a week since Bangalore's image as a relatively safe metro was marred by the rape and murder of call centre employee Pratiba Shrikanta Murthy. The IISc. attack has only further dented its patina of security.

It was unsettling to see the cobbled pathway outside the J.N. Tata Auditorium (situated in a complex opposite the IISc. campus) splattered with blood Wednesday evening; an image one hardly associates with a premier science research institute. It is a path that students and professors attending science seminars, presentations, and international programs tread often. Every Bangalorean takes pride in IISc's well-maintained and scenic campus. Many have fond memories of morning walks along its beautiful avenues till IISc introduced a walker's pass system and later banned all outside morning walkers. The image of students calmly cycling on campus, of lazy walks and discussions under department porticos presented a blissful picture of a research institution.

One professor's reaction on the devastating evening as the events unfolded will forever be imprinted in our minds. The man had no cable TV at his home and his expression of stunned disbelief when apprised of the attack, said it all: "Oh, my God! Are you serious? (Silence). How could this happen?"

C.N.R. Rao, Chairman of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) who has also been on the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, has been associated with campus over the last 50 years. He believes that Wednesday's attack was a symbolic one on a soft target. "Nobody feels vulnerable. But what's happened is a positive warning that we can't be careless in future and that we need vigilance," he says. "Till now it was an open institution. But just because of this incident, we can't run it like an army camp when there are thousands of students studying and a large number of visitors. Universities abroad also have a free atmosphere."

A senior official of the IISc., who spent most of his day helping Prof. Puri's bereaved family through the post-death procedures, perhaps echoes the thought in many a mind now: "Every person in the country is vulnerable." He believes that security is a national issue and the Government is capable of containing terrorism. "It is a problem that faces the whole nation. This is probably a warning that we must be aware and alert. But we must make sure that our scientific community is protected. It is unfortunate that it happened to us."

V.K. Aatre, Emeritus Professor at IISc.'s Communication Engineering Department and Former Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister feels the city's scientific institutions need not panic. "IISc. is considered a showpiece for India, one of its kind. And maybe that's why the attack was targeted on it. It does not have any classified information or do strategic nuclear power research. But some of us did discuss today whether this attack could be the beginning of something... " trails off Aatre. And then adds: "But it is the greatest shock that such an attack took place on a campus with such an atmosphere."

During the days when he held office as the scientific adviser, issues of security in key scientific institutions were often discussed, but no comprehensive list of possible terrorism targets was made. "We were mainly involved in R&D. The issue of security of government R&D institutions rested with the defence department."

In fact, IISc.'s uniqueness lies in the fact that it is neither a national laboratory, which concentrates solely on research and applied work, nor a conventional university which concerns itself mainly with teaching. It is world renowned for research in frontier areas and education in current key technology areas. Another professor, who didn't want to be named, said he had just walked through the J.N. Tata Auditorium complex underpass minutes before the firing, to take a bus home. He and his colleagues are still wrestling with the fact that their institute figured in the list of terrorists. "Most of us are still marvelling at how we could be targets... it's so out of the blue. But I guess with this incident, people are beginning to recognise that such things can happen, given our current political situation."

IISc. is on its Winter Recess till January 1, which means only some of the research students and faculty are on campus. "Our regular work continues. I don't think it's changed anything on campus," says the professor, on the morning after the attack. He explains how the institute is on a 24/7 research mode and it's not unusual for students and professors to walk out for some coffee at 2.30 a.m. "Of course, earlier there have been many incidents of theft of sandalwood trees and laptops from the campus. But this is a completely different league."

Life on campus

The Indian Institute of Science campus is truly one of a kind not only in the city but also in the entire country. Any city old-timer will describe the campus as a "jungle" because of the number of trees present. Now in the middle of a massive urban sprawl, it is an island of "fresh air and calm".

And this atmosphere gives the students who reside in the campus a special character. Ask any of them what they cherish the most and pat comes the reply: "Freedom." The campus works 24/7 and it is not unusual to find a group huddled together in the dead of the night over cups of coffee discussing theoretical physics. It is a campus that cherishes democratic values more than anything else. Though you have a code of conduct, you will not hear a diktat prescribing a dress code for women, say the students.

But after the suspected terrorist attack on the campus the students say these values must not be lost in the name of security.

"The incident has left us shocked but we are working as usual. There is no increased security as such but people have been told to carry their ID cards and gate passes without fail. The administration gives us freedom and I like the lifestyle we enjoy here. The new measures will not cramp us in any way but outsiders who come, say, for repairing lab instruments, will have some difficulty," says Nagesh Kolishetti, a chemistry student.

But some students say that earlier warnings that security was porous have been ignored. One student who prefers to remain unnamed says that small thefts in the institute have been on the rise for some time.

"Of late a lot of mobile phones, laptops and lab instruments have been going missing. It is becoming known that anybody can do anything and get away with it. It would help if the security were a little more aggressive. We have written to the administration some time back about this but nothing has been done."

State intelligence wing in a shambles

State intelligence wing in a shambles

The Hindu

Staff shortage, lack of modern gadgets affect work

# State police relying heavily on Central agencies for inputs
# Nearly 50 per cent of the posts in the intelligence wing are vacant
# There are no intelligence staff in most of the taluks

BANGALORE: The State intelligence wing, which provides inputs to the city and district police units on terrorist activities, is in a shambles.

Severe shortage of staff, lack of modern gadgets required for intelligence gathering and absence of trained personnel have hampered the work in the intelligence wing, according to highly placed sources in the State police.

All these have made the State police rely wholly on the Central intelligence agencies for inputs on terrorist plans to carry out attacks in the State, they said.

According to the sources, nearly 50 per cent of the sanctioned posts in the intelligence wing are vacant. While there was a request from the intelligence wing for additional staff, the State Government on Thursday transferred 11 inspectors from the wing without providing any replacements, they said.

According to the sources there are no intelligence staff in most of the 175 taluks in the State. Further, the officials and constables posted to the wing do not stay there for long and seek transfer to other sections. The average service period of a policeman in the intelligence wing is only one-and-a-half years.

As the staff do not stay for long, it becomes difficult for them to establish contacts and gather intelligence, particularly on terrorist outfits. Most of the personnel are not trained in intelligence gathering and they do not have adequate knowledge of the terrorist outfits operating in the country, the sources say.

Two proposals made to the State Government to strengthen the intelligence wing have been reportedly put on the back burner. One of the proposals is to post at least a constable for intelligence gathering in each taluk, according to the sources.

The other proposal is to create a separate cadre for the intelligence wing to ensure that the employees stay there permanently. Though the Government approved the proposal, it has not facilitated the recruitment process, the sources say.

There are two components in intelligence gathering, the human intelligence (humint) and technological intelligence (techint). But the intelligence wing has no gadgets for gathering "techint," they explain.

The intelligence wing is thus relying completely on "humint", the short-staffed and untrained personnel for gathering intelligence, the sources say.

Hoax bomb calls create panic in Bangalore

Hoax bomb calls create panic in Bangalore

The Hindu

Police search three colleges, a software firm and two malls

# People urged not to panic and allow miscreants to `have an upper hand'
# Police officials not forthcoming on details of calls

BANGALORE: Students of three colleges, employees of a leading software company and hundreds of shoppers at two leading malls here faced anxious moments on Friday following calls and messages on mobile phones that bombs have been planted at these places.

The Commissioner of Police, Ajai Kumar Singh, told presspersons that the police conducted searches and did not find explosives.

He said all the calls turned out to be hoax. Dr. Singh appealed to the public not to panic and allow miscreants to "have an upper hand."

Police officials were not forthcoming on details of the calls and searches they conducted, apparently because, it would create more fear in the public mind. Police sources told The Hindu that several people on Friday morning received SMS on their mobile phones that bombs have been planted at Garuda Mall on Magarath Road and Forum on Hosur Road, IBM facility in Koramangala and a few other places on Brigade Road.

A person telephoned the Police Control Room and informed that he had received such a message on his mobile phone. The police immediately swung into action. But the staff at the control room could not record the call, the sources said.

Several people, who had received such messages, forwarded them to others and this caused panic, the sources said. They said they are working with mobile service providers to trace the origin of the messages.

Meanwhile, a telephone call was made to the control room that explosives have been planted at Oxford Dental College in J.P. Nagar, Krupanidhi College in Koramangala and a nursing college in Banaswadi. The scared employees of IBM rushed out of their office on getting messages of the bomb threat on their mobile phones. Work was reportedly affected at the firm for some time. There was another hoax call on Thursday night that bombs have been planted at a commercial complex on Bannerghatta Road, which houses a software firm and Airtel office, the police said. The bomb threats have apparently created a fear psychosis in the public mind, as such hoax calls and messages have come soon after the terrorist attack on the Indian Institute of Science.

On an average, at least two bomb hoax calls are reported every month. Often such calls have put the short-staffed and over-burdened police under tremendous pressure and hindered their routine work as it happened on Friday. Explaining the hardship they are facing, a senior police official said: "Mobilising the personnel of the Bomb Detection Squad and sniffer dogs takes time as they are based at different places. But the police cannot ignore such calls and take chances as, if something untoward happens, there will be loss of life and property, he said. While mischief mongers are taking the police for a ride by making such hoax calls, the police have not been able to identify the callers who normally make calls from public call offices.

Bangalore prepares to celebrate New Year amid tight security

Bangalore prepares to celebrate New Year amid tight security

The Hindu

4,000 civil policemen, 50 platoons of the KSRP to be deployed in city

BANGALORE: Bangalore will be on alert but will also celebrate New Year Eve's with characteristic enthusiasm. The police have made unprecedented security arrangements for the celebrations in the city in the wake of terrorist attack on the Indian Institute of Science on Wednesday and the threat that explosions will be triggered in the city on the night of December 31.

Quick reaction teams

Police Commissioner Ajai Kumar Singh told presspersons on Friday that in addition to 4,000 civil policemen of different ranks, 50 platoons of the Karnataka State Reserve Police and three quick reaction teams (QRTs) of the city police will be deployed from Saturday morning. Mine detection teams and three QRTs from the Indian Army will also be deployed.

A bomb detection squad and tracker dogs were pressed into service from Friday. Doorframe and hand-held metal detectors will be used to screen people. A majority of personnel will be deployed in the central areas of the city where revellers gather in large numbers, Dr. Singh said.

No entry for vehicles

The police have banned vehicles on Mahatma Gandhi Road, Brigade Road, Church Street, Museum Road, Rest House Road and Kamaraj Road on the New Year's eve. Vehicles from both directions will not be allowed on these roads from 8 p.m. on Saturday to 1 a.m. on Sunday.

Vehicles proceeding towards Cantonment areas from Ulsoor should take a right turn near Trinity Circle, enter Ulsoor Road, take a left turn at Dickenson Road and proceed on Cubbon Road.

Vehicles proceeding towards Ulsoor from Queen's statue junction after 8 p.m. on Saturday can proceed through Anil Kumble Circle, Central Street, Cubbon Road and Webb's junction.

The police have prohibited parking of vehicles from Anil Kumble Circle to Trinity Circle on Mahatma Gandhi Road, from Cauvery Emporium to Opera junction on Brigade Road, Church Street, Museum Road and Rest House Road from 3 p.m. on Saturday to 3 a.m. on Sunday. The police will tow away vehicles parked in these areas after 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Parking is permitted on both sides of Kamaraj Road from Kamaraj Road junction to Commercial Street junction. Parking of private vehicles is permitted at the Shivajinagar bus stand and on Kings Road in Cubbon Park.

The management of The Grand Ashok said that it has heightened security in view of the threat that "Al-Jihadis" will carry out explosions at the hotel at 10.30 p.m. on Saturday. The personnel of bomb detection and disposal squads, who conducted searches at the hotel on Friday, did not find any explosives.

Police forces have been deployed at the hotel.

Army feels Bangalore is particularly vulnerable

Army feels Bangalore is particularly vulnerable

The Hindu

State needs better response system, says official

Bangalore: Major General B. Shivashankar, General Officer Commanding, Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala Area, said here on Friday that the recent terrorist attack on innocent persons and civilian installations had exposed the vulnerability of Bangalore and other parts of Karnataka.

Addressing the Civil-Military Liaison Conference, Maj. Gen. Shivashankar said: "Bangalore is particularly vulnerable because it has several Defence establishments and the fact that it has a large migrant population, presence of foreigners and students from disturbed areas of the country." A few fundamental and communal organisations operated here. The criminal-communal nexus too needed to be watched. "Since the city and some other parts of the State house a number of sensitive military establishments, there is need to constantly review and upgradation of security measures," he said. The growing threat can only be countered through concerted action at several fronts and there is urgent need to evolve and develop disaster management systems to deal with natural and man-made disasters, Maj. Gen. Shivashankar said.

Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh said: "The recent murder of a business process outsourcing firm employee and the terrorist attack are pointers to the fact that even after great vigilance and precaution, untoward incidents can occur."

Additional Chief Secretary to State Government Malathi Das and Karnataka and Kerala Sub Area Commander M.K.G. Menon were among the officials who attended the conference.

Hunt on for terror suspects

Hunt on for terror suspects

The Hindu

No breakthrough yet in attack on IISc; security tightened for New Year's Eve

BANGALORE: While the Bangalore police are yet to achieve a breakthrough in Wednesday's terrorist attack at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), experts say the grenades found on the premises were made in China and were of "Warsaw Pact origin."

Sources in the State police told The Hindu that the three grenades, an AK-56 assault rifle and live bullets recovered from the scene were made in China. Classified as "anti-personnel grenades," they were used against tank crew during wars.

Such grenades were used during the hijacking of aircraft and they caused a serious impact in a compact area. Had the grenades exploded on the IISc campus, several persons would have been killed, the sources said.

The police have recovered live bullets of a 7.62 Takare pistol from the scene. "The attacker, who opened fire from the AK-56 rifle, has left it behind and carried the pistol with him," the sources said.

A Urdu newspaper copy, on which "Ganganagar" was scribbled, was found.

Commissioner of Police Ajay Kumar Singh told presspersons that "on credible information, we have sent a team outside the State for investigation."

Three held in Hyderabad

Sources in the city police said the team, led by a Deputy Commissioner, was sent to Hyderabad, where three suspected terrorists have been arrested. "We are yet to ascertain whether the three have any link with the attack," they said.

Mr. Singh released to the media a computer-generated portrait of the suspected attacker, prepared with eyewitness inputs. The suspect is said to be in his late twenties and about 5.9-ft. tall. He said indications were that the attacker was alone. He was not sure if the attacker had reached the spot in a vehicle.

Mr. Singh said the Bangalore police were in touch with their counterparts in Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad and the Intelligence Bureau. "The security agencies in all these places have told us that they had no definite prior information on the attack on the IISc."

He said a special team, led by a Deputy Inspector-General and comprising a Deputy Commissioner, three Assistant Commissioners and five inspectors, was investigating the case. The police would coordinate with IISc authorities in devising a security system for the institute.

Security checks

Mr. Singh said that in the wake of the fax message received by some newspapers in the city on Thursday night that "Al-Jihadees" would trigger explosions at Hotel Grand Ashoka and the Chief Minister's residence on the night of December 31, anti-sabotage checks were conducted at both places. The police did not find any explosive.

Security was heightened for New Year Eve celebrations and quick reaction teams from the Army would be deployed.

Hoax calls

Mr. Singh said some calls, received on Friday stating bombs were planted in a few places, turned out to be a hoax.

To a question, he said the police would take up with the higher-ups the issue of establishing a special counter-intelligence unit in the city. The government decided to raise the level of mobile patrolling.

Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh, who participated in a civil-military liaison conference, said security was provided to Hotel Grand Ashoka.

Major General B. Shivashankar, General Officer Commanding, Southern Area, said the fact that one of the grenades recovered from the IISc campus had its pin removed but did not explode indicated that it was defective.

Director-General and Inspector-General of Police B.S. Sial told presspersons that dry dates found in a bag recovered on the campus showed that the "attackers were not local people."

Tech city turns fortress on New Year’s eve

Tech city turns fortress on New Year’s eve

Police don’t want to take any chances as a letter claims that suicide bombers are in Bangalore to disrupt the celebrations

Daily News and Analysis

A letter warning of suicide attacks on New Year’s eve prompted the Bangalore police to call out reinforcements and turn the tech hub into a fortress.

Police are taking no chances even as they promised Bangaloreans that they can let their hair down to bid 2005 adieu. “Bangalore can celebrate the New Year in peace,” Police Commissioner Ajai Kumar Singh said on Friday.
The force, still groping for answers to Wednesday’s attack on the Indian Institute of Science, was diverted to look for bombs at five places, including the IBM campus, following what turned out to be hoax calls.

An additional 60 platoons of police personnel, about 4,000 civil police officers, and three quick reaction teams with eight army commandos each were deployed after local newspapers received an unsigned fax that six terrorists, including two human bombs, would strike on Saturday.

“Does any terrorist inform two days in advance of an attack?” the police chief said. “But we are not taking any chances.”

He denied receiving the letter addressed to him by one Moinuddin. The letter said Chief Minister N Dharam Singh’s residence and the adjoining Grand Ashok Hotel would be attacked.

Meanwhile, police released a sketch of the gunman who killed a former IIT Delhi professor and injured five people by shooting indiscriminately with an AK-56 rifle. Central police agencies held one person in Bangalore and several in Hyderabad for questioning in connection with the attack.

Singh said his men are in touch with police in Rajasthan, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Kashmir. Some teams have also been sent to other states. He did not elaborate.

The threat perception may have gone up at the IISc, but turning it into a fortress is a nightmare for the academic world, the institute’s director, P Balaram, said.

“By its very definition the ambience of the university will be lost if you convert it into an armed fortress,” he said. “Along with high security come many other problems like those of access and freedom.”

Friday, December 30, 2005

Attack shatters `safe city' image

Attack shatters `safe city' image
The Hindu

Bangalore always attracted terrorists

BANGALORE: Bangalore's reputation of being a safe city has taken a beating with the terrorists attacking the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) on Wednesday night.

There has hardly been an incident of terrorists carrying out attacks in Bangalore although several of them were caught or killed in encounter here. The security agencies had foiled attempts of terrorist outfits to create unrest in the city.

The Wednesday night's attack in which M.C. Puri, a retired professor of the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, was killed and four others were injured is apparently the first terrorist attack of this nature.

Probably, the only act of sabotage carried out in the city in recent years was the blast at St. Peter's and Paul Church in Jagajivanramnagar in June 2000. The members of the now banned Deendar Anjuman, which had links with the Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), had allegedly carried out the explosion at the church.

After the blast at the church, there was an explosion in the van in which the Deendar Anjuman members were travelling near the Minerva Mills in Magadi Road police station.

The van blast, in which two persons were killed, gave vital clues to the police, who arrested several members of the Deendar Anjuman.

The major operation by the police against terrorists in the city took place on September 29, 2002 when a suspected ISI agent, Imam Ali, and four of his accomplices were killed in a pre-dawn encounter.

Ali, who was associated with the ISI-backed Hizbul Mujahideen and Palani Baba's Al-Jihad and Al-Umma, was the prime accused in the 1993 blast at RSS headquarters in Chennai, which claimed 14 lives.

Claiming themselves to be timber merchants, Ali and his four associates hailing from Tamil Nadu were taking shelter in a house on 5th Main, 11th Cross, M.S. Ramaiah Nagar in Sanjaynagar police station limits.

After the encounter, the police had said that Ali and his aides had planned to carryout attacks in the city and one of their targets was ISKCON Temple on Chord Road.

In another important operation in November 2002, the Fraser Town police foiled the attempts of Tamil militants, who had links with the LTTE, to kill some prominent Kannada activists and create unrest in the city.

On November 11, 2002, the police arrested Vijay Murthy alias Viji and Shiva Kumar alias Shiva, from near the Banaswadi railway station and seized huge quantities of aluminium pipe bombs and hand grenades. It later came to light that several persons had entered into a conspiracy at the house of Nedunchezhian, a Tamil activist now lodged in Parappana Agrahara Prison, to wage a war for the creation of a Tamil nation, the police said.

In the past, the police had arrested from the city several militants belonging to various outfits such as Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and People's War Group (PWG). The most infamous of the militants who had taken shelter in the city (in 1991) apparently were the assassins of the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. While some of these LTTE cadres committed suicide by consuming cyanide at a house in Konanakunte, the police arrested a few others.

Wake-up call: IT forum

Wake-up call: IT forum

The Hindu

`The Government, security agencies and information technology units should work together and exchange information'

Bangalore: Wednesday's terrorist attack at the Indian Institute of Science is a "wake-up call for everybody", C.N. Kumar, Convenor, Bangalore Forum for Information Technology, said on Thursday.

He said security has to be a collaborative effort, involving both the IT industry and security agencies.

"The industry, Government and police should work to-gether and exchange information if there is a threat perception."

`Precautions needed'

B.V. Naidu, Director, Software Technology Parks of India, Bangalore, said the industry "need to take extra precautions" to prevent such incidents.

Anant R. Koppar, President, Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce urged the industry to invest in security systems. "We can fight terrorism only through stringent security measures at sensitive locations and by creating greater awareness among people, especially those in the technology sector. It has become extremely important that companies invest in monitoring individuals who work directly or indirectly in organisations and invest in intelligence system in their premises," he noted.

It will be R.K. Hegde Road from Mehkri Circle to Hebbal flyover

It will be R.K. Hegde Road from Mehkri Circle to Hebbal flyover

The Hindu

BMP Council unanimously adopts a resolution on renaming the road

BANGALORE: The Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) on Thursday resolved to name the stretch of Bellary Road between Mehkri Circle and Hebbal flyover after the late former Chief Minister Ramakrishna Hegde.

A resolution to this effect was moved in BMP general meeting here by the Leader of the ruling party Ravindra and was unanimously passed by members. The palike empowered the Commissioner to strictly enforce use of Kannada on all advertisement hoardings displayed in the city. Although a resolution to this effect had been passed earlier, it was not implemented properly, Mr. Ravindra said.

Terrorist attack was predicted

Terrorist attack was predicted

The Hindu

Architect of Lashkar's Akshardham temple attack had visited Bangalore

# Officials, institutions were slow to address vulnerabilities
# Bangalore has been on the Lashkar's list of targets for a while

NEW DELHI: The Karnataka Government received a warning of an imminent terrorist strike in Bangalore less than a fortnight before Wednesday's attack in the Indian Institute of Science.

Sources said the warning was based on an Intelligence Bureau operation that monitored communication between two Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives in New Delhi. Although intelligence sources admitted the warning did not contain information that could have enabled the Bangalore police to prevent the strike, they said officials and institutions had been slow to address their vulnerabilities.

Lashkar operatives had been attempting to execute a major strike in Bangalore since 2001, in the months preceding the Jaish-e-Mohammad attack on Parliament House. Mohammad Arif `Ashfaq,' the Lashkar operative who recently received a death sentence for his role in the attack on the Red Fort in New Delhi, told his interrogators that a separate terror cell had been ordered to blow up information technology baron Azim Premji's farmhouse. Investigators believe that the 2001 plan collapsed because of the Lashkar's inability to recruit locals.At the end of the year, the Lashkar's structure was dislocated by the elimination of its top commander for all-India operations, code-named Abu Adnan, in an encounter in New Delhi. Lashkar activities were then scaled down by Pakistan's covert services during the 2001-02 India-Pakistan crisis to prevent a war-provoking incident.

Lashkar's efforts

By mid-2002, with the crisis out of the way, the Lashkar's efforts to target Bangalore were renewed.

That summer, the BSF's General Branch — its cryptically-named intelligence wing — succeeded in eliminating the Lashkar's top leader in Jammu and Kashmir, Manzoor Zahid Chaudhuri, responsible for the 2002 attack on the Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar and an attempt to storm the makeshift temple at the site of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.

From a laptop discovered in Chaudhuri's hideout, Indian intelligence gained insights into the existence of a growing Lashkar network operating out of Bangalore. Chaudhuri, it turned out, held discussions on potential targets with an undercover Lashkar operative code-named `Imran' planted in Bangalore several years earlier. Using the alias Mohammad Wasim Bhat, Chaudhuri stayed at the Vardhaman Hotel for several days in May 2002, before returning to Jammu through Chennai.

The Lashkar continued to build its capability in Bangalore. Shahid Ahmad, a Pakistani national who took charge of all-India Lashkar operations in 2003, focussed on recruiting ethnic-Kashmiri students studying outside the State. Manzoor Chilloo, a Pune-based medical student, was tasked with facilitating an attack on the Mumbai Stock Exchange. Students in Bangalore were also approached, with some success.

Evidence emerged in recent months that the Lashkar felt it now had the resources it needed to strike.

In March, the Delhi police eliminated three Lashkar terrorists who had visited Bangalore in December 2004. Pakistani nationals Bilawal Ahmad and Mohammad Shahnawaz, along with a Patna resident Pervez Ahmed, are thought to have met local Lashkar contacts during their visit to their city. However, efforts to identify them again failed.

Despite the successes Indian counter-terrorism organisations have registered against the Lashkar, the Pakistan-based group has proved remarkably resilient to high-level penetration.

No decision yet on Puttanna theatre

No decision yet on Puttanna theatre
Deccan Herald

Differences of opinion persists in the BMP on the renovation of the Puttanna Kanagal Chitramandira located in Jayanagar.

At the council meeting on Thursday, the BJP opined that the work should be given to Kannada cine star Vishnuvardhan who has volunteered to take it up, but the Congress and JD(S) favoured tender process. The council was informed that there are second thoughts on BMP’s earlier decision to renovate the structure at its own cost and then give it out on lease.

BMP Chief Engineer Projects Ranganath told the council that the estimated cost of restoration being as high as Rs 100 crore, the possibility of issuing the work to a private party on rot-basis (renovate, operate, transfer) is being explored. Mayor Mumtaz Begum said the traffic police who are presently using the Puttannakanagal Chitramandira premises on a temporary basis, have been asked to vacate soon.

Report on road works: Oppn furious over BMP’s ‘laxity’

Report on road works: Oppn furious over BMP’s ‘laxity’
Deccan Herald

Commotion over delay in road works and the city administration’s perceived reluctance to take note of the adverse remarks on the quality of works made by a High Court-appointed experts’ committee ...

Commotion over delay in road works and the city administration’s perceived reluctance to take note of the adverse remarks on the quality of works made by a High Court-appointed experts’ committee marked the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike council proceedings on Thursday.

That the BMP’s official machinery has not bothered to get itself a copy of the experts’ report triggered the ire of the Opposition.

The Captain Raja Rao headed three-member committee report, which was presented to the High Court recently, has notable references to the poor quality of road works and a cartel of contractors.

Raising the matter, the ruling Congress party’s H Jayaram (RPC Layout) demanded that the report be presented for discussion in the Council; but the Congress was a divided house.

Mayor Mumtaz Begum herself noted “There is no relation between the committee and us. We haven’t received the report”. It only added further fuel to the Opposition’s ire.

“Why hasn’t BMP’s legal officers applied for a copy? Why hasn’t the Commissioner asked them to get one?” they demanded. JD(S) corporator Mr Kupparaju (Austin Town) noted that in choosing to ignore the report, the BMP engineers were only indicting themselves.

Upon the Opposition’s insistence, the mayor assured that a copy of the report will be procured and taken up for discussion in the council.


The mayor also assured that the work on the second package of total asphalting will begin latest by January 30. The tenders are scheduled to be opened on January 5; due to the urgency of the situation, the council may approve them directly, without going to the standing committee on works, she said. Earlier, the corporators questioned the delay in completion of the first package works under the total asphalting scheme. The work, which was started in April 2003, is yet to be completed, they observed.

Engineer-in-Chief Mr Ramegowda said they will be completed by February. The total length of the roads along which the Rs 130 crore first package works are slotted is 1000 km; work has been completed along 930 km, he said.

Mr Ramegowda informed the council that tender process for the second package was postponed seven times since July due to lack of response. The contractors have promised to quote the tenders on January 5, he said.

The break up of the second package is as follows: 34 packages at Rs 35.85 crore in East division, 20 packages at Rs 18.93 crore in West division, 24 packages at Rs 25.45 crore in South division.


Chamarajpet MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan (JD-S) let political tempers on the loose for a while at the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Council on Thursday alleging that the BMP’s developmental works were concentrated around the assembly segments represented by the ruling Congress. Mr Khan went on to say that it was especially so in the constituencies represented by district-in-charge minister Ramalinga Reddy (Jayanagar) and former mayor K Chandrashekar (Basavanagudi). Even as the Congress members were on their feet crying hoarse, Mr Khan smugly replied, “I shall apologise if what I have said is wrong.”

No breakthrough yet in IISc attack case

No breakthrough yet in IISc attack case
Deccan Herald

Over 24 hours have passed since a suspected militant attack in IISc campus killed a scientist in Bangalore and the police are “clueless”. However, a breakthrough is expected in the next few days, sources assert.

Meanwhile, various theories are afloat regarding the identity of the assailants. They could be either from militant outfits or the D-Company.

Police did not rule out the hand of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) behind the attack, but so far they have not been able to pinpoint any extremist group. Meanwhile, the Intelligence Bureau sources said that looking at the modus operandi, the attack could have been carried out by the Jaish-e-Mohammed. The method used by both these outfits are similar, i.e, indiscriminate firing at the target. But, both leave behind some significant and distinct tell-tale symbols after they carry out an attack, the sources added.

LeT claims responsibility immediately after leaving behind some Arabic numbers and inscriptions while the Jaish-e-Mohammed does not assert itself in this manner, the sources added.

According to a senior police officer, there could have been more than two militants involved. The police also suspect that the militants would have used a motorcycle to reach the spot. The police on Wednesday suspected that the assailants had used a white Ambassador. On Thursday they ruled out the possibility of the vehicle being used. He said there was a possibility that the assailant would have jumped the IISc compound wall and hidden inside the premises for sometime before carrying out the attack.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Bangalore City Police Commissioner Ajai Kumar Singh said a special police team had been formed apart from five other teams comprising the assistant commissioners of police and inspectors. The computer sketches of the assailant could not be made as the prime eye witnesses have been hospitalised. Once the eye witnesses are in a position to give the details the sketches would be prepared by experts, Mr Singh said.

Even as the City police has zeroed in on militants’ hand in the IISc shootout, there is a school of thought in the department which strongly suspects the hand of Dubai-based underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. The occasion during which the episode has been planned points at the lie-detector tests being conducted on gangster Abu Salem, said a senior police official. With Salem scheduled to undergo narco-analysis tests in Bangalore on Thursday, Dawood would have sensed an imminent danger from his possible revelations during the tests and engineered the attack in J N Tata Auditorium premises to divert the attention of law-enforcing authorities, he added.

Any vital information may provide suitable grounds to the Indian police to exert pressure on the international community to deport Dawood, he opined. He also said that if the assailants were trained extremists, they could have caused a large-scale devastation in the IISc campus, given the poor security and the number of people in its premises.

The unexploded grenades and the number of cartridges wasted also support this theory, he added.

Guns & mettle: Terror runs into infotech wall

Guns & mettle: Terror runs into infotech wall
The Economic Times

BANGALORE’S IT hotspots may have come under terror shadow, yet they are virtual fortresses difficult to breach. When Lashkere-Taiba operatives recced the city’s IT campuses almost a year ago, they found their security set-ups impregnable.

This assessment comes even as Karnataka Chief Minister N Dharam Singh described the attack in the IISc campus as an act of terrorism. Investigations were on to identify the perpetrators, he said, adding, no group had claimed responsibility yet. Intelligence inputs gathered last March reveal LeT operatives had reconnoitred several of the city’s software campuses in late 2004 to gauge security loopholes and exploit breaches.

However, the outfit had to abort immediate plans of an attack after figuring out that privately-run security mechanisms in place at most campuses were extremely sound and “invulnerable to terror attacks”. Infosys, for one, has armed guards at its gates and visitor parking lots are located away from its buildings to limit damage to property and staff in the event an attack. Employees are also frisked at entry points.

Wipro and Hewlett-Packard have electronic systems to scan retina and identify fingerprints. Pramod Bhasin of Genpact, the country’s largest BPO said, “While this seems like a one-off kind of an incident, we have carried out a thorough review of our security measures, today. As a part of GE, we always had very robust security for all our centres and are putting this new threat into perspective now. We are asking employees to be a bit more careful than usual after this incident.”

The chief minister said security would be tightened for the IT/BT companies and other vital institutions. Police protection would be increased for all national and international conferences to be held in the city. Wednesday’s attack has raised concerns across the country’s tech community.

Change of tactic

Attacking an academic institution considered a centre for technology innovation and that too a gathering of academicians and technology professionals is seen as a change tactics and cause for “serious concern” by the community. While most tech companies refused to be drawn into a debate, at least two leading MNCs said their principals abroad were a little anxious.

Infosys Chairman N R Narayanamurthy was, however, categorical that he did not anticipate any impact on the city’s tech business. Security agencies stumbled upon the Bangalore terror plan while interrogating LeT operatives following the busting of a module by Delhi Police earlier this year. It turned out that the LeT terrorists had planned to strike at the country’s economic establishment by targeting Bangalore’s software firms.

The Centre assessed that the state police was capable of providing additional security cover to the IT firms, a Home Ministry official told ET. Even after yesterday’s attack on IISc, officials say, “it’s up to the IT firms to hire the CISF for consultation on security upgrades.”Bangalore not only houses India’s top software firms, Infosys and Wipro, but facilities of foreign giants IBM, Intel, Texas Instruments and Accenture. The $22-billion industry contributes 3.5% of India’s GDP. Bangalore is home to nearly 1,500 tech companies and some 200,000 of their employees; it accounts for 40% of India’s IT revenues.

Rock bottom!

Rock bottom!
There’s a big gap between the perceived image of Bangalore and the sorry reality of the nightlife here. Only, now, even the rest of the world knows
The Times of India

It’s dead, non-existent, gone kaput. Bangalore’s once celebrated night life, that is. It has been so for some time now. First, the 11.30 pm curfew, with lathi-wielding policemen banging their sticks on tables in the most stylish clubs, making sure clubbers vamoosed at the appointed hour. How does a city that works till well after 8 pm grab any night time fun before 11.30 pm?

End-June another crackdown. While everyone thought the orders were only for dance bars to shut shop, party-goers in July were stunned to find ‘No-Dancing’ signs greeting them at the dance floors at their clubs.


Club owners cried themselves hoarse; visitors to the city were shocked that the night ended long before midnight; DJs started looking elsewhere for work. The way the police went about the closing received a lot of flak too. “On one occasion we had policemen walking the ramp,” complained Prasad Bidapa. “They have no right to interrupt a fashion show. It was also way before 11 pm when they stormed in and drove everyone away,” he said.

News of Bangalore’s dying night life reached the international media, too.


The police sat unmoved. “Ask the excise department,” they said. “We’re working on it,” the excise department offered.

Then came the Supreme Court verdict allowing dance bars to be open. Club owners jumped. “Tangentially, we thought we’d be allowed to stay open, but no go,” they lamented.


They want us to get an amusement licence if we are to have dancing. For this we are required to get permits from the fire department, BESCOM and other civic agencies; we are are expected to have multiple entry and exit points, but the excise rule says that we have to have only one entry and exit point, if we are to serve liquor.


We are being equated with dance bars and that’s not fair. I even overheard a policeman say ‘There also they dance, here also they dance; clubs are worse, because here men and women dance.’ We can’t have this attitude. Bangalore has matured as a city and clubbing has nothing negative attached to it. People come here to lounge and have conversation. Nothing untoward happens anywhere on the dance floor.

Deep Biswas, lounge bar owner

This is ridiculous. You expect a city like Bangalore to be more mature about handling a situation like this. I come to the city even though the mills I deal with are in another. I transact all businesses here because I used to like the decent night life here.


People in London asked me about the the no-dancing and pub closure rules in Bangalore. Tsk, tsk, is what they say.

* We don’t know what the real reason for the close down is. If it’s to keep crime rates down, it’s certainly a big failure. Murders of the worst kind still happen.


Police Commissioner Ajai Kumar Singh on deadline extensions for pubs and bars (including the night of 31st): I don’t have the authority to extend the closure hour. It is the excise department which has that power. If they extend it by two hours, we will go by it.

Excise commissioner DN Nayak (at the time of going to press): We may extend deadline only for the 31st night. But the matter is still under deliberation.

It can happen to us

It can happen to us
The violence at IISc has shaken the Bangalorean’s sense of invincibility
The Times of India

THE attack on Wednesday at the IISc premises in which Professor MC Puri was killed has shaken all of Bangalore. The city, considered relatively safe, doesn’t appear so any more. There’s a sense of anxiety and disquiet. But how does terror affect the psyche of a city? BT asked a sociologist and a psychiatrist to analyse the situation:

Gopala Krishna Karanth, head, sociology unit, Institute of Social and Economic Change:

“Firstly, the sense of invincibility we possessed earlier is wearing off. Earlier, if there was any accident or hazard, people generally believed “it will not happen to me.” Now that’s changed. People think, “It’s more likely that it can happen to me.” The transformation is because of the increase in the density of life and activities in the city. The probability of direct harm to us has gone up. Urban life today has added a new dimension to fear; and the growing anonymity induces insecurity, a fear complex and suspicion.” People are also looking at how lax their security systems are. “The situation is comparable to a crowded bus-stop, when someone screams, “Pickpocket!” The reaction is not to catch the man, but to see if your pocket is safe.”

Also, the attack has become a matter of discussion, and everyone wants to be a part of it, which may build up anxiety levels — some of it, even deliberate. “People are finding out and talking about how close a call someone they knew had in connection with the incident.”

Dr Vikram Prabhu, psychiatrist:

Everyone’s talking about the attack. Questions are being asked about how safe are we, really? There is a strong element of fear, but there is also a sigh of relief: “Thank God schools are closed and our children are safe.” It still is too early to tell, but such incidents affect those who are anxiety-prone badly. People’s antennae are already up and they also perceive a threat. So even as harmless a thing as the bursting of crackers for New Year’s will startle the sensitive, because there’s heightened tension — they already have this incident at the back of their mind. Usually, the fear would be temporary, but in Bangalore’s case, there has been a series of such unfortunate incidents, so it will take a longer time to settle down. Apart from the perceived threat, there has been a genuine threat — one professor has been killed, so people can get anxious.”

But life goes on, say captains

But life goes on, say captains
The Times of India

Bangalore: ‘Security risk,’ part of every global business environment indicator has never brought any trouble to Bangalore. It’s peaceful, cosmopolitan culture shaken only by the traffic chaos and bad roads has always ensured that the phrase remains unfamiliar to the city. Is this set to change? A question which everyone wishes is better not asked and a spotlight put on the underbelly of a problem which is painful and vulnerable.

Does Bangalore’s business friendliness take a beating? No, says Kiran Karnik, Nasscom’s president. “Customers are very sharp in what they expect from India. If the deliveries are on track they do not bother. We have proved that business just goes on,’’ said Karnik.

“These kind of incidents can happen anywhere. Unfortunate they have. But life goes on,’’ said Karnik. To put his words into perspective consider this: Budapest and Bulgaria, two of the Eastern European countries are leading the region’s rise as a new powerhouse of knowledge workers. East Europe throws the gauntlet at India and China, offering a high-skilled and low cost business environment. A Businessweek cover story recently pitched Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. Romania and Bulgaria as the new destinations for tech companies to outsource from. What’s special about them? Most of these countries are coming out of decades of communist regimes, a high organised crime rate and some of them recovering from intense civil unrest. For instance, as Businessweek reports, Bulgaria and Romania are still under the shadows of organised crime.

“India is an outstanding example,’’ says Karnik. “Life just goes on here.’’ Perhaps capturing the spirit of the city’s resilience, president of Bangalore Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCIC), Anant Koppar said: “Such incidents will not dislodge the confidence of people.’’

Bomb hoax haunts tech firms

Bomb hoax haunts tech firms
The Times of India

Tension prevailed on Bannerghatta Road for over an hour when several hundred emp l oye e s rushed out of a building following a bomb threat on Thursday.

The bomb disposal and detection squad that checked the entire campus, housing two massive offices, did not find any explosive material. The threat turned out to be a hoax. The reception desk of Convergys received an anonymous call in the evening that a bomb would go off within a few minutes. The building that houses the Airtel office too was evacuated and anxious employees came onto Bannerghatta Road. While police and the squads checked the building, there was chaos outside as traffic on the busy road got jammed.

Resident groups, a force to reckon with

Resident groups, a force to reckon with
The Times of India

Bangalore: It’s like the birth of a new constellation. They protested against spine-breaking roads, demanded that water supply be regularised. Why, women who had only heard that the state had a chief minister called Dharam Singh, had the temerity to block his car and ask the CM to walk on potholed patches.

Resident Welfare Associations, RWAs, are the noveau force to reckon with.

A guesstimate puts the number of such associations at 430, including those in BMP and CMC areas. Out of the 100 wards in the city, each one boasts of at least two associations, to say nothing of apartment blocks who bond into RWAs for every 50 apartments.

Their presence was felt loud. BWSSB, Bescom, BDA had to have monthly interfaces with area-specific groups and address their issues. When the Comprehensive Development Plan was unveiled this year, the BDA was inundated with requests and representations from RWAs either for the green belt or industrial zones. One hour into the Koramangala demolitions and residents gathered in large numbers, protested, stalled it. A helpline called Save Koramangala was formed in a day by the Koramangala Residents Association.

Circa late 2004, an 83-year-old man Parthasarathy braved a chilly wintry morning and got the obstinate craters in his road at Puttenhalli filled up, road-rollers, concrete, man-power et al, at his own cost.

Elsewhere at Ramamurthynagar Welfare Association, a 10-year-old RWA, members fought for land disputes, water supply, power, among others. Says the president A V Shama Rao, “We challenged levying of betterment charges on CMC residents and based on our plea the High Court blasted the government. We won the case. Now we are fighting for Cauvery water as part of Greater Bangalore Water Supply Project. When will the water flow? When will laying of sewage lines be complete? Let them, BWSSB and K R Puram CMC, give a deadline and we will pay taxes.’’

But they have their share of peeves too. Like Gunashekar, a long-time Bangalorean and resident of Banashankari, who as part of an RWA has had his fair share of hits and several misses with civic bodies and the government.

“We had to request, plead, protest, stage dharnas for years for any action to happen. But all it took was a day for the IT brigade to hold a token protest and the entire government stopped to listen and most importantly, act. Why, don’t we pay taxes, aren’t we important?’’ he asks with anguish.

Explains BMP additional commissioner (finance) P K Srihari, who has had interfaces with groups, including CIVIC, Swabhimana, Public Affairs Centre, for suggestions and information dissemination, “We actually invite them for a dialogue and exchange of information. But associations and NGOs should also understand that when a policy change needs to be made it has to be approved by standing committees, etc. Procedures take time and often they are done.’’

Police put together evidence, piece by little piece

Police put together evidence, piece by little piece
The Times of India

Bangalore: The wintry evening sylvan serenity that was the IISc campus till 7 pm on Wednesday now looks like a war zone pockmarked with bloodstains, cartridges, grenades, bullet marks on trees and walls, and the massive deployment of armed personnel.

Hours after the suspected terrorist opened fire at the campus, killing a professor and injuring four others, investigators are piecing together evidence to reconstruct Wednesday evening’s ghastly shooting.

With little help from varying, sometimes contradictory, eyewitness accounts, the police are depending largely on evidence collected by forensic experts. So far, there is no concrete information on the getaway vehicle, the police maintain. “The initial reaction of many is panic. The scene can be reconstructed after meticulously going through eyewitness accounts and also by collecting forensic evidence,” a police officer said.

Forensic experts and police are rummaging through every patch of a 100 sqmt area around the J N Tata Auditorium to collect vital pieces of evidence. There are bullet marks on walls, windows, doors, trees and a car and ballistic experts are scrutinising every dent. “The bullets have ricocheted and it is important to find the direction and angle from which they were fired to reconstruct the scene,’’ a police officer said.

While the AK-56 and six discarded rifle box magazines are being checked for fingerprints, experts are verifying the make and origin of the weapon and ammunition. The bloodstains too form a vital clue to the direction of the attack.

The police have so far recovered three hand grenades, a cloth bag containing edible dates, expelled shells from the rifle and bloodstained material.

“Some eyewitnesses informed that the gunman in military garb was around 6 feet tall and had a fair complexion. We will put together a portrait once more details are available,’’ another officer added.

Broken in body, not spirit

Broken in body, not spirit
The Times of India

Bangalore: On Thursday morning, a young woman hailed an autorickshaw and asked the driver to take her to IISc, near Malleswarm. “Oh that place, where this shooting happened. OK madam, but you be careful there. Alli jasti police bundobast idhe,’’ he said. A city which revels in its scientific and technological excellence, is stirred but not shaken, broken in body but not spirit. Citizens are angry, very angry but the once-peaceful pensioner’s paradise does have its vestiges of maintaining peace. “By giving vent to our anger, we will only be adding to an already tense situation. Why should we stoop to the level of those cowards? ‘’ exclaims a long-time resident of Bangalore, Krishna Murthy.

On Wednesday night, Prof Rajeev Gowda, a friend and associate of Vijay Chandru who sustained injuries, said, “It’s terrible but we will fight with our brains and heart, we’ll also show them what we are made of.’’

State police ill-equipped

State police ill-equipped
Continuous Monitoring,Transfer Of Intelligence Vital To Protect Targets
The Times of India

Bangalore: The 9/11 attacks, the London blasts, the Parliament attack, Delhi blasts, and now bullets in Bangalore. It was waiting to happen. Yet, the act of terror has sent security agencies scurrying for cover.
The Karnataka police is ill-equipped to handle such situations with no experience in antiterror activity. Neither does its anti-terror unit have any staff. Despite intelligence agencies working overnight, and data being pooled in from all cities, the police are breaking their heads to crack the case. Security agencies from Delhi and experts from Mumbai will have to quickly step in and give cover to the Bangalore police

Experts working for long in Intelligence departments told The Times of India what Bangalore requires is “Delhi type policing’’. The police will require equipment.

Bangalore has been a safe haven for people, including the underworld in many cases, and one cannot forget the times when Rajiv Gandhi’s assassins were holed up on the outskirts of Bangalore. But today, it has become the target of attack. Most scientific and vital establishments in Bangalore do not have closed circuit TV cameras at their campuses. Says Ratnakar Rao, a former RAW additional director and former Chief of Security to the Prime Minister, there is a general impression that the Centre had passed on information that extremists were targetting soft targets, and Bangalore has been specifically mentioned. However, there was no information in this case. Rao said there has to be coordination between the state agencies and the central agencies on a continuing basis. If there is information of a threat, then the agencies concerned — like the IB, RAW and the state police task force — need to monitor this and pass on information on a continuous basis. The advantage extremists have is that they can choose the timing and target at their will. It is a task to protect soft targets. All the states are thinking of commando forces, but they can only be in a central place. It will be impossible to station commandos in all the states.

Alerts end up being mere formalities

When terror actually slammed the city on Wednesday, the police were caught unawares. The police, whose reaction to intelligence alerts does not go beyond vehicle searches, suffered the first big blow when terrorists rained bullets on scientists at the IISc campus. “Had we taken the alerts seriously, this strike could have been pre-empted,’’ a senior police officer said. On why alerts are normally not taken seriously, a senior officer explained: “Everytime a terrorist strike takes place in north Indian cities or terrorists are arrested, a general alert is sounded. Hundreds of such alerts are received in a year, but nothing concrete is established. Over a period of time, such alerts are nothing but completion of bureaucratic formalities.’’ Several warnings of terrorist strike were given but nothing actually happened. On Monday last, the Delhi police busted a terrorist module that warned of a attack in Bangalore. But this time too the police did not take the warnings seriously.

Now, police to take corrective measures

Commissioner of Police Ajai Kumar Singh too said on Thursday the Bangalore police will now take corrective measures to step up security.

The police did not rule out the involvement of terrorist organisations such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Singh said. The investigations through the night have revealed that more than one person was involved in the operation. “We found a bag in which they must have carried the weapons. There were other things in the bag, which do not rule out the possibility of more than one person being involved in the crime,’’ he said. Asked if the attack was a slap in the face of the police, especially since the Sadashivnagar police station was just 5 minutes away from the scene of crime, Singh said: “There are a lot of places where such incidents have happened, like the attack on Parliament. It is for you to make the inference.’’

Anti-terrorist cell,but where is it?

Anti-terrorist cell,but where is it?
The Times of India

Bangalore: When the Oct. 29 Delhi bombings killed over 60 persons, the city was put on red alert and security beefed up. Thanks to the anti-terrorist squad, the case was cracked quickly and it was established that a Pak-based terrorist outfit was involved in the blasts.

Bangalore too has an anti-terrorist cell, but only on paper.

“The cell is absolutely defunct,’’ stressed police officials, adding: “The city which has vital installations should have a well-networked anti-terrorist cell and a strong counter-intelligence system.”

The anti-terrorist squad was earlier attached to the additional director-general of police, law and order. It has now been rechristened the anti-terrorist cell and put under the intelligence department. The cell is headed by an IGP.

Counter-intelligence is almost unheard of in the state. It is a network where the police plant its personnel in the terrorist outfit, get information on its activities and smash it. Even as Bangalore was put on high alert three days ago (soon after the Delhi police intercepted some terrorists targeting vital installations across India), neither the intelligence nor the antiterrorist cell had any inkling about IISc being a soft target.

The police officers at the Sadashivanagar police station were just 20 seconds away from Wednesday’s crime scene. The police station next to the IISc campus is being renovated and its temporary location is very close to the auditorium. “They were trying to make a point. Yes, Bangalore was put on alert, but these are general alerts, not specific in nature. The central intelligence does not provide any specific information, but yes, the lapse was ours too,’’ admits a senior police officer.

n Anti-terrorist squad helped in cracking Delhi blasts case.
n But one such squad in Karnataka is virtually defunct.
n Counter-intelligence is crucial. It plants a police mole in a terrorist outfit and smashes the network later on.

IISc didn’t heed suggestions

IISc didn’t heed suggestions
The Times of India

Bangalore: The gap between April 10 and Dec. 28, 2005, is a huge yawn between what has happened and what could have been prevented.

In the wake of the security breach during Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to the IISc on April 10, a report prepared by CoD DGP K R Sreenivasan has pointed out that at any given time IISc was manned only by 30 security personnel, six supervisory officers and one senior policeman. Among other recommendations on putting logistics in place, the report has a list of 10 suggestions to prevent untoward incidents at an illustrious venue.

The report had been presented to Lok Ayukta Justice N Venkatachala for an inquiry. Justice Venkatachala told The Times of India on Thursday, “The inquiry could not be conducted to its logical end because of various forces stalling it. The government suddenly said Blue Book rules don’t apply in this case. So we could not even go ahead and ask police to implement the suggestions. Besides, the police had information from intelligence wings that IISc had been sounded the red alert. Why didn’t they step up security?’’

The report was prepared based on diktats laid down by the Blue Book, a veritable Bible on security, protocol and the vigilance that should be followed during visits of “VVIPs, international delegates and international conferences’’. Going by the lackadaisical security present on the fatal 28/12, every norm of the Blue Book and suggestions spelt out by the report has been ignored.

For instance, the event at IISc on Wednesday was an international conference on ‘operations research applications’, with 300 delegates, including 36 from abroad, in attendance. Days after the previous security breach at IISc, the police in tandem with IISc representatives had been asked to ensure “anti-sabotage check’’ and have “sterilised conditions prevailing’’. Simply put, it means the event venue should be combed thoroughly and cleansed of any weapons and shrapnel, and even culverts in the vicinity must be checked thoroughly beforehand. Another recommendation: if the entrance to the building is to the east, there must be an alternate exit point in the opposite direction, west.

And this tops it all: the security agency at IISc, Shashi, has remained the same for the past 24 years.

BCC officials pushed hard to give information under RTI Act

BCC officials pushed hard to give information under RTI Act
Those seeking information under RTI Act can either fill up the prescribed form or in a white sheet with details on what information is sought along with their address by paying a fee of Rs 10
Vijay Times

IF there is violation of bye-laws in your building, it is Bangalore City Corporation (BCC) alone that may not be keeping a watch. Y our neighbour could well also be interested if you have committed any violation.

This has been the case ever since BCC started accepting applications filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. BCC has received 150 applications in the last two months with a majority seeking information on sanction of building plans.

A senior BCC official told BVT that interestingly some applicants wanted to know building sanction details of their neighbours and how much areas was allowed for construction.

Following the introduction of RTI Act, citizens are making a beeline to BCC offices in order to seek information also on the works executed by the civic body pertaining to road repairs, asphalting, storm water drain, garbage disposal and various social welfare schemes, list of beneficiaries, trade license of shops etc.

However , most of the applicants are unhappy with the kind of information disclosed by the officials concerned. The public are upset over the apathy of the officials in giving the right information despite the RTI Act in place.

The BCC has designated around 150 officials as public information officers (PIOs) and assistant public information officers (APIOs) to provide the required information to the public.

The PIOs are bound to provide the information within 30 days from the date of receipt of the application while the APIO’s can take additional five days, the official said.

According to the Act, it is mandatory for the officials concerned to reply why information was not made available and if possible where the information was available.

A majority of the requests that are pending stand testimony to the non-cooperation by officials in providing the right information. Once the applications reach the 30day deadline, the officials blindly issue an endorsement stating that the required information was not available with the BCC, an applicant said.

For instance, the assistant council secretary in the BCC has refused to divulge information sought by Amaresh, a resident of Malleswaram, as to whether the wax replica of former mayor R Narayanaswamy could allowed to be unveiled in the premises of BCC Council Hall. Later , the official appeared before the Karnataka Information Commission and pleaded guilty .

Terror strike: City on high alert

Terror strike: City on high alert
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: A day after terror struck the tranquil City, the police and other security agencies, guarding the vital installations in Bangalore have been put on high alert to avert any such incidents.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which is providing security to the airport and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) headquarters in the City has intensified its security checks at both the places.

At the airport, City Police armed personnel were assisting CISF to ensure foolproof security.

“More number of CISF personnel have been deployed, surveillance, both within the airport and on approach road has also been increased,'' a senior officer said.

Plainclothesmen were also deployed in and around airport premises to watch out for people moving around suspiciously.

At the ISRO, only people with valid identity cards and proper permission were allowed inside.

Even the high-profile ISKCON temple has been provided with extra cover. “Soon after the firing at IISc, security has been increased here,'' said B K Das, in-charge of the temple security.

Here the security personnel are assisted by the city police for a thorough check up of all vehicles entering the temple premises.

Doorframe and hand-held metal detectors are also used. “We have asked for a platoon to be deployed at the temple,'' he added.

Meanwhile the software companies in the city have also tightened their security. Policemen have been deployed at the companies located on ITPL, Koramangala, Whitefield, Indiranagar and other areas.

Similarly, security has been upped at Vidhana Soudha, Police Headquarters, Railway station, bus stations and other places in the city.

Police have also set-up check points (Naka Bandi) at many places in the city, where they checked vehicles.

Amidst uneasy calm, life goes on in IISc

Amidst uneasy calm, life goes on in IISc
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Uneasy calm prevailed in Indian Institute of Science, a day after the terrorist attack on the J N Tata auditorium.

Life carried on as usual in the campus. Only, it resembled a reservation settlement. Nobody, other than IISc students and those connected with the institute, were allowed in.

Curious onlookers on motorcycles and cars stopped at the IISc gates, to get a glimpse of the location, where the terrorist attack took place.

Though a normal day wore on, despite the terror of the previous night, all the entry points into the sprawling campus in Sadashiv Nagar were heavily guarded.

The gates were shut and were opened once in a while, just long enough for a vehicle to pass through. Even courier delivery boys were stopped at the gates and asked to come the next day.

In the cafeteria, students mingled around as usual. They had been given directions that research must not be affected on account of the incident.

Director of IISc, Prof.P Balaram had called a meeting of the Head of Departments in the morning. He briefed them on the security arrangements that have been put into place and assured them that there was no need to panic.

“Research has to go on, and it is going on smoothly,'' Prof.Balaram told reporters. A few students, who were eyewitnesses to the terror of the night before, recounted their experiences.

“Life is normal here,'' said N Nagaraja Rao, Secretary of the Bangalore Chapter of the Operational Research Society of India (ORSI), which had organised the conference the terrorists disrupted.

He said that IISc was a world apart from its surroundings and the people were busy with their work.

“IISc is like a temple. This (the attack) is a kind of aberration,'' he said. Rao, a High Court lawyer, narrowly missed the terrorist's bullets on Wednesday.

He had parked his car outside the Satish Dhawan auditorium and had rushed inside to set a few things in order for the ORSI-AGM. Two minutes later, his car windows were smashed by bullets.

The conference was called off and most of the delegates have left, he said.

What went wrong in Bangalore?

What went wrong in Bangalore?
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Wednesday’s terror attack at the IISc was never a “bolt from the blue,” as Karnataka and Bangalore police had, time and again, received information that the IISc, along with many other installations, were on terrorists’ hit list.

Interestingly, the police had even held meetings with IISc officials over security issues. But even before they could act upon it, the terrorists struck.

Now, as the police were working on various leads to find out which organisation was behind the ghastly attack, many theories were emerging as to what went wrong and how the incident could have been averted.

The incident had exposed the failure of the police to act on Intelligence inputs from various agencies, including the State Intelligence Wing. It also appeared that there was lot of communication gap in various levels of police organisation.

DG & IGP B S Sial denied that the police had specific information of terrorists attacking the IISc. Recently, however, DCP Central held a discussion with IISc officials on beefing up security, in the wake of terrorist threat to the campus.

“Intelligence inputs, warning possible terrorist strikes in the city, were sent to the city police in November and a similar note was again sent to them again in December,” a senior police official said.

Though an idea to deploy CISF personnel at IISc was proposed, they had decided against it. Instead, a security plan, incorporating reasonable standards of security, was to be implemented.

“But after all that, police personnel were not deployed at J N Tata auditorium where the international seminar was going on. Police presence at the spot would have been helped to some extent,” sources added.

Incidentally, Chief Minister Dharam Singh had, only last month, directed police officers to anticipate and act, in order to avoid unsavoury incidents. The advice had come at the annual conference of IPS officers and Singh was referring to the security lapse at Legislators Home where Belgaum Mayor Vijay More was attacked by Kannada activists.

The lack of co-ordination was evident even in October when the Delhi police issued an alert to cities in the South, following the serial bomb blasts there. While the Chief Minister had acknowledged the possibility of terrorists’ presence in the city, the city police was not too convinced.

Senior Intelligence officers had, on previous occasions, admitted that a terrorist strike in Bangalore was not far away, but it seemed coincidental that the attack on Wednesday came just a day after the Delhi police busted a terrorist group which was eyeing the city.

The militants arrested in West Bengal and Hyderabad, were planning to attack software parks in Bangalore.

Speaking to reporters, IISc Director, Prof P Balram said: “I do not want to blame anyone for the incident. Such attacks can happen anywhere in the world. As far as the institute is concerned, all possible efforts are being made to provide adequate security.