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Scientist killed as gunman opens fire in Bangalore

Staff Reporter

Man in camouflage jacket started firing when delegates were coming out of an international conference at IISc.

  • Five injured in the attack
  • Assailants escape under cover of darkness
  • Police were earlier warned about terrorist plans
  • Red alert sounded all over Karnataka

    SHOCK AND AWE: A dog squad examining a car struck by a bullet when intruders opened fire on the IISc. campus in Bangalore on Wednesday. At right, one of the injured being taken to hospital. — Photos: Bhagya Prakash K. and K. Murali Kumar

    BANGALORE: A scientist from New Delhi was killed and at least five persons were injured when intruders opened fire and lobbed grenades at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) here on Wednesday evening.

    Central intelligence agencies had recently informed the Bangalore police that terrorists had plans to carry out attacks in the city.

    Police said that at 7.15 p.m., a man wearing a camouflage jacket started firing randomly with an automatic rifle, when the delegates at an international conference of the Operational Research Society of India were coming out of the J.N. Tata Auditorium on the IISc. campus.

    Reports said the man fired at an adjoining laboratory and a car and started running towards the parking lot on the right side of the auditorium. Police could not confirm reports that there were two other persons and that they had come in an Ambassador car.

    M.C. Puri of the Indian Institute of Technolgy, New Delhi, who was hit by a bullet, died at the M.S. Ramaiah Hospital. IISc. scientist Vijay Chandra, two other scientists Pankaj Gupta and Sangeetha, laboratory assistant Vijay Patel, and Sundaresan were injured in the attack. Dr. Chandra was undergoing surgery at the Mallige Medical Centre. Some of the others injured have been admitted to the Medical Centre and the M.S. Ramaiah Hospital.

    Security agency sources told The Hindu that they suspected the attack was the handiwork of a militant group, probably from Kashmir. The police found five magazines, believed to be from an AK-47 rifle, a used grenade, a live grenade and spent bullets in front of the auditorium.

    Police Commissioner Ajai Kumar Singh told newspersons that the police were yet to ascertain who was behind the attack, the first of its kind in the city.

    Ballistic experts would examine the seized material and give a report, he said and requested the public to share any information about the incident with the police.

    Security stepped up

    Soon after the attack, the police sounded a red alert all over the State. They combed the vast IISc. campus, put up barricades and pickets all over the city and screened vehicles.

    Director-General and Inspector-General of Police B.S. Sial held a high-level meeting of police officers and discussed security measures and investigations.

    Speaking to presspersons, he denied there was any security lapse.

    "Neither the IISc. Registrar nor the organising secretary of the conference informed us that there were 56 foreign delegates and 250 Indian delegates. They did not ask us for security," he said.

    Bangalore in hit list

    Bangalore occupied an important place in the scheme of things of various terrorist outfits. In view of threats from terrorist groups to attack vital installations and information technology firms in the city, the police had tightened security at important places.

    The lack of security at the IISc. was exposed several times in the past when armed smugglers intruded into the campus, which has hundreds of sandalwood trees.

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