The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Terrorist leaves his cargo behind

Bangalore, Dec. 29: A pair of jeans found near the spot of yesterday’s attack has led police to conclude that the terrorist is six feet tall.

It seems that the gunman had left behind everything he was carrying as the police found an AK-56 rifle, a bag, chest pouch, magazines and grenades.

The lone terrorist had opened fire last night on delegates to a conference on operations research being held at the JN Tata auditorium across CV Raman Avenue from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

M.C. Puri, professor emeritus of mathematics at Delhi IIT, died in the attack and four others were injured. All four are out of danger.

At the crack of dawn, weary policemen who had spent the night combing the campus, once again started their work ' marking the spots, combing the bushes and looking for evidence.

Daylight unveiled a grimmer picture of the tragedy with bloodstains, gashed tree barks and trampled bushes telling a tale of people running helter-skelter.

Investigators are saying the attacker possibly did not jump into a waiting Ambassador to escape, as thought earlier. They said the rifle was recovered from a street behind the campus.

“If he ran towards an Ambassador at the front gate, how did the weapon end up in the ditch behind the establishment'” they wondered.

The police now believe the terrorist climbed over a small gate on the main road to enter the auditorium compound, put his bag on the ground and pulled out the AK-56. He slipped on a monkey cap and strapped on a chest pouch containing four grenades and magazines.

He then moved towards the auditorium porch, lobbed a grenade and started running away. Once he came across people, he began firing. He continued to run but, finding a dead alley, swung around and came right back, this time not firing. He threw the weapon into a ditch and jumped over the compound wall, melting into the darkness.

The police have recovered the bag, chest pouch, magazines, grenades and the pair of jeans ' blue, stone-washed, size 34 and sporting a popular label. The pouch had three live grenades, three magazines with 30 bullets each and a paper napkin. Four dates were found in the bag.

Bangalore woke up with its confidence in the city as a peaceful place shattered, as terrorism announced its arrival. Delhi and Mumbai have known terrorist violence several times over. Calcutta got its taste in the attack on the American Center in 2002. Chennai itself hasn’t seen a terrorist attack, but Sriperumbudur, where Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated, is only 40 km away.

“This is the first time it is happening,” said chief minister Dharam Singh, Bangalore’s shocked realisation finding voice in his words.

Singh said more than one person might have been involved in the operation, admitting it to be a terrorist attack.

Intelligence reports suggested a single terrorist, who was not trained too well, an indication that he belonged to the Jaish-e-Mohammad, and not the Lashkar, which uses its men for more lethal impact.

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