Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Terrorist attack in IISc


Yet another conference. Academics and industry professionals come out of the last session of the day; some of them are on mobile phones, and others are in deep conversation, and all of them are on their way to dinner. A pretty mundane, ordinary sight in IISc during these December days, actually. Except today.

At around 7:30 p.m., unidentified gunmen (one, two, or more? no one is sure) opened fire on a group of conference participants leaving the J.N. Tata Auditorium, which is just across the road from the main campus of IISc. As of this moment, one academic (Prof. M.C. Puri of IIT-Delhi) has succumbed to the gunshot wounds and several others are being treated in at least two different places: M.S. Ramaiah Hospital and Mallige Hospital.

TV footage from these centres (IISc and the two hospitals) show quite a few familiar faces. At Mallige Hospital in particular, where one of our colleagues Prof. Vijay Chandru (of the Department of Computer Science and Automation) has been admitted for surgery. Through the glass windows, we can clearly see two other colleagues Prof. Swami Manohar and Prof. Ramesh. Reports indicate that Prof. Chandru will pull through. I hope the others do, too.

The police have announced that the perpetrators of this crime is still at large, and that the entire city has been put on high alert. Back in the campus, though, things have quietened down. Most students are back at work, just as they normally are. Tonight, however, they will probably spend substantial amounts of time trying to find and share new information, and trying to come to grips with this atrocious attack within our campus.

Whatever spin one puts on this incident, it is clear that it is big for Bangalore, and even bigger for us in IISc. Some day, we will probably look back at it and say "That was the day when ...". Tomorrow, however, we will all be back at work, just like any other day. For, that's the only way to beat the terrorists. I sincerely hope the government does not declare tomorrow a holiday -- for us in the Institute, or for any of the other establishments in the city. Except, of course, for security reasons.

Even more importantly, tonight, right at this moment, our thoughts -- and best wishes for a speedy recovery -- go out to our colleagues and other conference participants who are in the hospital. Our sympathies and condolences -- go out to the family of Prof. M.C. Puri, an unfortunate victim of a random act of violence in the Garden City of Bangalore.

26 Comments:

  1. SUM said...

    We are proud of you guys @IISc for trying to get back to usual work tomorrow.

    My condolences to Prof. M.C. Puri's family and friends.

    Hoping that the terrorists are brought to justice immediately..

    There is no fear of these cowards..

  2. cynical nerd said...

    Dear Prof. Abinandanan,

    We offer our sincere condolences for Dr. Puri (may he R.i.P) and wish the injured recupere at the earliest. This year has been horrible, the Ayodhya attacks, followed by the Diwali Delhi attacks and this.

    We also hope the Indian Government take whatever action to protect our citizens from further terror attacks.
    best regards,

  3. Diminutive-Indian said...

    We condemn and deplore this dastardly and cowardly act of those terrorist. After killing so many innocent people they have now started to target our educational institutions !!

    My condolence to family and relatives of Prof Puri, it is one unfortunate incident. May the others get well soon

  4. Chetan said...

    Thank you so much for this post. It was reassuring to get an update from an insider. We admire your (IISc staff) courage, conviction and dedication. What you suggest is indeed the right response to the terrorist designs. My condolences to the Puri family and friends and hope along with you and many others that the injured come out of this unscathed both physically and mentally. We are with you all the way.

  5. Ranga said...

    Hi Abi,

    I accidentally stumbled upon your blog when I was googling for more information on the tragedy at IISc. It looked like they came, they fired and they gone. Nobody knows who they are nor the whys and hows answered.

  6. Niket said...

    The first thing I did after reading about the attack was to turn to your blog to read what someone from IISc had to say. Thanks for keeping your courage. My condolences to Prof. Puri's family. Wishing for speedy recovery for all those injured. As Chetan said, we are all with you all the way. Getting life back to normal and capturing the culprits is the only right way to respond to this incidence.

  7. Chetan said...

    OMG, what a horrendous and cowardly act! My deepest sympathies and condolences for those affected by this incident.

  8. Nitin said...

    Abi,

    I think the best respose Bangaloreans and IIScians can give is to carry on as normal. I'm glad that people will go on as usual at the IISc.

    Beyond this, I think we must not allow this incident to be buried under political ineptitude and expediency. The perpetrators need to be caught, brought to trial and punished for their acts - whoever that may be and wherever they may have come from.

  9. Patrix said...

    Condolences to Prof. M.C. Puri's family. We are all with you at IISc and yup, the best way to fight back is to carry on your life normally but express outrage and condemnation.

  10. Dilip D'Souza said...

    Stay strong, Abi. Keep us posted on what you hear is being done to track down these bastards.

  11. tilotamma said...

    Hey, just had to drop by and make sure you are OK

  12. Anonymous said...

    Felt very bad on hearing this news.
    Condolences to the victim's family for this terrorist act. ...

    and Happy to know that you are Safe.

    -sekar

  13. Nikhil said...

    Prof
    My condolences to the family of Prof MC Puri. I pray to God the others in the hospital survive.
    Congrats on the people at the IIsc for continuing to work on in spite of the tragedy. As you rightly said, continuing as usual is the only way to defeat these terrorist bastards' designs.

  14. wise donkey said...

    well said.
    great spirit.

  15. Abhinav Goyal said...

    Dear Prof. Abinandanan,

    We salute the spirit displayed by IISc-ians to go back to work undeterred. This is the best possible reply to those who'd like to see panic and desolation spread in Bangalore.

    At this point, one doesn't know if it was a random act of violence or one that points to greater challenges ahead. While one wishes for the former, we, (Bangaloreans, Indians) have to be prepared for the latter.

    Regards,
    Abhinav

  16. Ravikiran said...

    Bad... this kind of terrorism is the most difficult to combat. Tough to provide gun-totting security for every scientific conference and IT company. I hope Bangalore takes the lead from IISc and doesn't cow down. I also hope that the Bangalore police is prepared to deal with terrorist influx - I'd expect that compared to Mumbai, Delhi or even Chennai, Bangalore would be the least prepared, having had very little reason to expect a strike so far.

  17. Anand said...

    Shocking! Keep us updated.

    I join others here in hoping that the injured will pull through. My condolonces to Prof. Puri's family. (Prof. Puri's death is a personal loss too. He taught my sister at IITD.)

  18. Rashmi Bansal said...

    Very sad and senseless. It's like no one is safe anymore. What s huge shock to Dr Puri's family and all at IISc. My deepest sympathies and condolences.

  19. Mowgli said...

    Prof. Puri must have been a brave man and selfless man. He pushed down a girl who was standing between himself and gunman ... such instintive selfless reaction can come from only a noble mind ... only such people keep our nation standing .... deepest condolences to his family.

  20. Abi said...

    My sincere thanks to all of you for offering your thoughts, sympathies and condolences.

    Our campus community has sprung back to its usual activity; well, almost! The cashier at our Coffee Shop told me that his business today was about 20% lower than usual.

    It has been an overwhelming day, with lots of phone calls, e-mails and corridor conversations, all revolving around just one thing. At the end of the day, I just want to leave you all with this news from us: life has started humming along again. It's almost normal, and just a little less innocent.

  21. Sunil said...

    shocking. I was away on holiday, and log in this morning to see this. Great to see the institute standing together and working on.

    and i also see the second headline "Bangalore police clueless".

    bastards all.

  22. Krish said...

    Very sad. Great to know that academicians at IISc are handling it well. I just hope that everyone have the same kinda attitude when it comes to dealing with terrorists. Not allowing them to terrorize us is the best way to defeat them.

  23. Suhail said...

    Condolences to Prof. Puri's family and praying that the injured get through this ordeal hale and hearty.

    This is totally senseless. Those bastards should be hanged in a public square.

  24. Aswin said...

    Didnt know about the incident till Fri aft. Was shocked to see this story on Hindu's frontpage. Condolences to Prof.Puri's family and I hope the injured get well soon. It is great that IISc is back on its heels.. thats the way it should be!

  25. Anonymous said...

    Prof ...

    It has been really depressing hearing this piece of news ... I grew up in Bangalore and actually visited IISc whenever I used to feel sad/lonely or wanted to "think" through things !! I guess that freedom would now be gone !

    My pals studied at IISc and just for the kicks - I even enrolled in a Prof course on the campus and visited it every week - now, when such events happen at a place where I grew up - I must say, in the world order - morality has sunk !!!

    From miles away (Thanks to the internet !! )

  26. Anonymous said...

    Hi Abi

    Thanks for the information, the newspapers had very less info and I was waiting for you to write something.

    Condolences to Prof.Puri's family and wishes to others injured to get well soon.

    Keep us updated.

    cheers,
    prasad gvss.