Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bangalore terrorised

The serial blasts that rocked Bangalore city on Friday afternoon, resulting in the death of a woman and injuries to scores of people, has shaken its citizens very badly. That the blasts using explosives and timer devices — though of low intensity — occurred at eight different places in a span of about 75 minutes, indicates it was a co-ordinated attack intended to cause widespread panic in the city.Apart from areas in the heart of the city like Rajaram Mohan Roy road, Langford Town and Madivala, the fact that the culprits targeted the Hosur-Sarjapur road that houses several big and small IT companies shows that the culprits clearly wanted to strike at the pride and economic heart of Bangalore. Though the damage was minimal, the incidents led to great panic, disruption of traffic and closure of schools, colleges and business establishments, including cinemas and malls in many areas. It would naturally take some time for the police to establish the identity of the culprits and their motives behind the blasts, though there are already suggestions that these incidents bear the hallmark of terror outfits like HuJi and LeT. Ever since the terrorist attack at the premises of the Indian Institute of Science in December, 2005 in which an IIT professor from Delhi was killed, Bangalore has shuddered at the prospect of repeat performances with deadlier consequences. In recent intelligence reports Bangalore had figured prominently as among the cities whose vital installations had come under the terrorists’ radar and red alerts had gone up from time to time. The pre-emptive arrests of some alleged terrorists and SIMI activists in Bangalore and other parts of Karnataka in the recent past gave an indication that the peace and serenity of the state could no longer be taken for granted.

If the terrorist hand is indeed responsible for the attack, the Central intelligence agencies will have to step up their vigil, along with the state police force, as one of the country’s important economic hubs like Bangalore cannot be allowed to become hostage to forces inimical to the country. As it is impossible for the authorities alone to take sufficient preventive measures, these incidents should make the citizens become proactive. They must report to the police any suspicious persons, their movements or events that come to their notice so that securing the city becomes a collective responsibility. The city has to stand up and demonstrate that it will not tolerate such cowardly acts against innocent citizens.
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