Friday, December 30, 2005

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.


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