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Bangalore police confused, play blame game
A correspondent in Bangalore | December 29, 2005 20:23 IST
The terrorist attack on Wednesday night on the premier Indian Institute of Science has left Bangalore police a confused lot.
They blame it on the central intelligence agencies' failure in giving input on a possible terrorist attack in the city but the truth appears to be far from that.
The state police have not been geared for any such eventualities, even though Bangalore is called the science and technology capital of the country. This, despite the well-known fact that police training has been dependent on its colonial moorings rather than based on the need of the hour.
Several months ago, the Intelligence Bureau and its Delhi counterpart had issued a warning of a possible attack on the IT industry or vital installations in the state, especially in Bangalore. Hyderabad, also, is considered vulnerable to such attacks, the central agencies had warned.
The statements made on Thursday by senior police officers and Chief Minister Dharam Singh highlight the fact that they have ignored the warnings given by these agencies.
"What the IB and other agencies had said earlier did not only cover the IT industry but the entire science and technology sector. We have premier aviation institutions and their subsidiaries here. Besides this, there are defence application industries and aerospace laboratories here," said a senior police official who wished to remain anonymous.
He added, "But keeping one's concentration only on the IT industry is ridiculous, considering the terror targets on places of national importance. And this laidback attitude of the police has been rewarded with Wednesday night's attack on IISc."
Security experts criticise the fact that the police force has, for the past decade, prioritised buying new gadgets, vehicles and weaponry. "What we need is better training and handling capacity of the police force," an expert said.
Whatever the case may be, the Bangalore police is still searching for a needle in the haystack. The area around J N Tata Auditorium within the IISc campus is cordoned off and ballistic experts were deployed early on Thursday morning.
However, there was no-one who could give a clue about the attackers. "We suspect there are more than one assailants," is what the Police Commissioner Dr Ajai Kumar Singh has to say.
A senior police officer said it was impossible to conduct such an attack without prior planning. What is more shocking is that nobody saw the assailants entering the premises or escaping after the attack.
The shocking incident left those in the campus more frightened.
"I am sure the police should have acted much better than this, as the police station is stone's throw away. They should not say that they were not aware when, as I learnt, they were warned about such an incident well in advance," a US-based lady scientist who is in the campus for conducting research said on condition of anonymity.
The police are now looking out only with one clue - the finger prints on the AK-47 gun abandoned on the spot is the only evidence they can bank on. The finger prints taken from the scene have been dispatched to various investigating agencies across the country for verification, police said.
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