The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sketch & scare in Bangalore
- One picked up for questioning in city put on edge by bomb hoax calls

Bangalore/New Delhi, Dec. 30: Intelligence agencies working with Karnataka police have picked up one person from Bangalore and several from Hyderabad in connection with the attack outside the Indian Institute of Science.

As Bangalore police released a sketch of the suspect, home ministry sources said one person had been picked up on specific inputs the sleuths had gathered from the scene of the attack and from eyewitness accounts.

Several had been detained in Hyderabad.

The official would not disclose any more details for fear of jeopardising the investigation.

“But we are hopeful of getting very important clues by interrogating the arrested person. Some definite picture should emerge in a couple of days,” the official said.

Internal security agencies are now certain a terrorist group having strong links across the border was involved in the attack.

The suspect’s sketch, released today, was generated by a computer software from details collected from eyewitnesses undergoing treatment.

M.C. Puri of Delhi IIT died in the attack and four other participants in a conference at the JN Tata auditorium, outside which the attack took place on Wednesday, were injured.

Bangalore police commissioner Ajai Kumar Singh said: “The assailant is in his late twenties, around six feet tall and has a fair complexion.”

Although the commissioner did not claim that the sketch was fully accurate, he said it was being sent to other state police organisations and intelligence agencies. The man in the sketch has sharp features.

Bangalore, which saw its first terrorist attack two days ago, is a city on edge.

Embassy Golf Links, a complex housing big names like IBM, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft and Yahoo, was among a string of public places that experienced bomb scares.

After a call came at mid-day, campus security agencies alerted all the offices and the police arrived. After four hours of search by the bomb disposal squad, the building was given a safe certificate.

Rajan Viswanath, the head of campus security, said: “We were fully prepared for such a situation. I must admit that Bangalore police were very active today.”

The police control room was inundated with calls for help after receiving information that bombs had been placed at public places, software companies and educational institutions.

Establishments that suffered the trauma included Forum and Garuda shopping malls, favourite places to hang out for the youth, Oxford school and Krupanidhi college.

Despite the wave of fear sweeping across the city, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) dismissed suggestions of wrapping the place up in a security cocoon.

Director P. Balaram said: “IISc will not have extreme security measures. Life on campus is quite normal and work continues as usual. This is an open academic institution and not an armed fortress.

“The ambience of the university will be lost in an armed fortress. The majority on the campus will not feel safe with obtrusive armed forces.”

On a lighter note, Balaram noted with characteristic humour that “grenades which do not explode is none of our business. It is a matter for the police”.

It was a reference to an unexploded grenade found from the spot of the attack.

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