Bangalore Shock

And to think, Fareed Zakaria called this age the most peaceful one so far…

Earlier today, seven blasts rocked Bangalore, creating immense panic in various parts of the city. The first blast occurred at a bus stop and it even claimed one life. Occurring after a gap of few minutes, six more low intensity blasts shook the city, injuring twenty.

According to The Hindu, preliminary investigations have revealed that ammonium nitrate, bolts, nuts and small cement chips were packed into the devices. The search is still on to determine who it was that planted the bombs, although it is widely believed that it was the work of some terrorist group. The blasts were condemned by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Karnataka Chief Minister, B. S Yeddyurappa. Condemnation also came from Left which lost no time in pointing fingers at the Centre and informing them of their inefficiency and incapability to protect the citizens. It was a bit surprising to notice that almost all the politicians who spoke up about the blasts asked the public to maintain “communal harmony”. No terrorist group has been identified as yet and our leaders already seem eager to attribute communal overtones to the blasts. Even if the people of Bangalore did not think on those lines, the politicians have done their best to ensure that now they give it a thought.

The Indian Share Market “extended its fall” post news of the Bangalore blasts. The losses extended to 3.5 per cent after reports of the blasts started trickling in. This is a setback since the market had started to see some growth after the trust vote.

However, the major setback quite obviously is for the people. Panicked family members had been frantically trying to reach their loved ones, thus ensuring that the phone lines got jammed for quite a while. The vigil has been heightened by the police at several areas in the city including the railway and bus stations. Cars and people are being screened to look for possible clues.

But such action has come rather late. What India really needs are effective measures and a task force which concentrates on preventing such tragedies from occurring. India’s appalling lack of anti-terrorist vigil has been recently criticized by a confidential United Nations report prepared by the Counter Terrorism Committee of the UN Security Council. Several blasts have happened across the country and yet, no concrete steps seem to have been taken to prevent such blasts. Materials to prepare indigenous bombs are easily available and so are other things which are needed to have a successful bomb blast. Threat identification and proactive action at local level is the need of the hour. It has been recommended that a proper anti terrorism legislation be made to come into place – but I guess storming the parliament and bribing each other are more pressing issues for the Indian politicians.

Let us hope that IT hub regains its lost sense of security – and does not, for a long long time, have to be a victim of future blasts.

Shravya Jain

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