'We were walking towards seminar hall when we heard crackers'

NEW DELHI: Lending credence to Bangalore police's belief that two or three terrorists could have taken part in the attack at the Indian Institute of Science there, an eyewitness on Saturday said she saw ''a few people'' with guns running away soon after the incident.

C. S. Lalitha, a reader in a college in Delhi who accompanied slain retired professor M.C. Puri, recounted with horror the events that unfolded on that fateful night when terrorists struck the premier institute where an international seminar was underway.

''We (myself, Pankaj Gupta and Prof Puri) were walking towards the seminar hall when we suddenly heard crackers. But Prof. Puri said it was firing and asked all of us to lie down,'' she said adding the firing went on for about five minutes and resumed later after a short pause.

When the firing stopped I dared to look at the gate.

Cries of help

''I saw a few people running away with long guns'', Lalitha told CNN-IBN news channel as she recollected cries of help from here friends.

''I got up and the first person I saw was Prof. Puri lying a pool of blood. I didn't know what to do. Pankaj and Sonia (a friend) got up and I knew they were safe. But Prof. Puri was not safe,'' she said.

Prof. Puri was immediately taken to a hospital. ''I was holding his hands and telling him that Prof. Puri get up, get up. But he would not respond. I think he was not there at that time, I don't know,'' Lalitha said as tears welled in her eyes.

His hands were very cold and on the way also I was trying to wake him, she said.

In the hospital, doctors desperately tried to save Prof. Puri and after around five minutes they told me that he was no more and I should call his relatives, she added. PTI