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IISc not an armed fortress: Director
December 30, 2005 18:42 IST
Professor P Balaram, director, Indian Institute of Science, 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 made an 'armed fortress'.
"By its very definition, the ambience of the university will be lost if you convert it into an armed fortress," he told reporters on Friday. "Along with high security come many other issues like problem of access and freedom".
In a terrorist attack just outside a conference hall in the IISc campus on Wednesday evening, M C Puri, a retired professor of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi was killed and four were wounded, sparking off concern over the security situation in Bangalore.
Balaram strongly favoured security, which is unobtrusive, modern and discreet - "I hope that will be possible." Asked if the Intelligence Bureau or the police had alerted IISc about a possible terrorist strike, he replied in the negative.
Balaram said security measures were being reviewed and that security would be upgraded at the IISc. According to him, it was a particularly difficult proposition for a free and an open academic institution to deal with a 'major assault'.
"I don't believe there has been any kind of problem with our security. It's just the kind of attack that we have been subjected to, which is unfortunate," he said.
Balaram also said terrorism had become a fact of modern life and it could happen anywhere, anytime, noting that inumerable cities in India and overseas have been targets - "We just happened to be caught up in the midst of one of these crises at IISc."
He denied that police had suggested modifications in the security set-up, following the protest by a Tibetan during Chinese Premier's visit here in April.
He said police have done a 'wonderful' job in handling matters after the terrorist attack and agreed with the statement of the top official that this was not the time to engage in a blame-game.