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Terror strikes IIS campus
Former Delhi IIT Prof shot
Tribune News Service & Agencies

Bangalore, December 28
Suspected terrorists today barged into the premier Indian Institute of Science (IIS) here and fired indiscriminately, killing a retired Professor of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and injuring three others.

Director-General of Karnataka Police B.S. Sial told reporters here late tonight that the deceased was M.C. Puri, Professor Emeritus in the Mathematics Department of the Delhi IIT.

Professor Puri was 64. The injured were Dr Pankaj Gupta, Dr Sangeeta and Dr Vijay Chandru. One of the injured underwent an operation at a hospital here.

An AK-47-like weapon, 11 empty cartridges, two live magazines of an automatic weapon and a live grenade packed in a cotton pouch were recovered from the scene of the firing, Mr Sial said.

Sources said the possibility of the attack being the handiwork of terrorists could not be ruled out given the nature of the automatic weapons used in the attack and the recovery of the grenade. The institute is on the hit list of terror groups, including the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Asked if it was a terror attack, Mr Sial said: “I leave it to your thought process and ingenuity. As a common man, I can say some terrorist is involved.”

Bangalore Police Commissioner Ajay Kumar Singh, when confronted with the same question, said: “We cannot say anything at this stage. There is no information on how they came and who they were.”

Union Home Secretary Vinod Kumar Duggal said in New Delhi that it could be a terrorist attack but “as of now it does not seem to be a terrorist attack.”

Bangalore city, Hyderabad and Chennai were put on high alert following the attack on the IIS.

Joint Commissioner (Crime) of Police Narayan Gowda said four to five persons in a white Ambassador car came into the IIS campus at around 7 pm and opened fire from automatic weapons outside the J N Tata auditorium from where delegates came out for dinner at the end of the day’s proceedings of the annual convention of the Operational Research Society of India.

Mr Sial said there were 36 foreign and 250 Indian delegates at the convention.

Mr Sial, however, said quoting eyewitnesses at the IIS that only one gunman carried out the attack. “But we will find out again if the number was more than one as the witnesses were in a state of shock.”

He said the attackers kept on firing even when they were fleeing the spot and one bullet hit a car parked inside the complex.

Mr Sial said the two live magazines and the live grenade were still kept at the spot of the attack and they would be defused by explosive experts tomorrow.

The injured at M S Ramaiah Hospital were stated to be out of danger. However, the police there did not allow any mediaperson to talk to the wounded.

The police cordoned off the IIS area and launched a hunt for the assailants who fled the scene. Raids were conducted at possible hideouts of the assailants in the city.

Karnataka Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh called a high-level meeting of police and other officials here tomorrow to review security measures in Bangalore in the wake of suspected terrorist attack at the Indian Institute of Science.

The Chief Minister spoke to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and apprised him of the incident, official sources said.

Union Home Ministry officials held an emergency meeting this evening after the suspected militant attack on the IIS.

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam tonight expressed grave concern and shock over the firing incident.

Dr Kalam conveyed his condolences on the loss of precious life and wished the injured a speedy recovery, a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesman said here.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also conveyed his condolences to the family of the deceased.


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