by CIO Staff

Attack Unnerves Bangalore

Dec 29, 20052 mins

An attack by a gunman late Wednesday at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, India has sent shockwaves through the city’s large outsourcing industry.

One person was killed and four injured in the gunfire on the campus of IISc, one of India’s most prestigious educational institutes. They were part of a large group of scientists and professors that were coming out of a conference held in the auditorium of the IISc, when the gunman attacked.

Bangalore police have so far said that they cannot definitely confirm that the attack was by terrorists. But the police have put the city on high alert and asked outsourcing companies to strengthen security.

“We are concerned about the incident, and we have implemented additional surveillance,” said a spokeswoman at Wipro Ltd., a large outsourcing company in Bangalore. The company already has in place security processes including electronic surveillance and physical checks and restrictions on movement of people and vehicles in Wipro’s various campuses around the city, she added.

Earlier this year, police in India warned that the country’s software and services outsourcing industry and other high technology installations are likely new targets for a terrorist group operating in the country.

On Monday, the Delhi police arrested three suspected terrorists who were planning to attack software parks in Bangalore and Hyderabad besides other targets, the police said. Since then security measures were tightened at some of the outsourcing companies in Bangalore including Wipro Ltd., according to informed sources.

Documents seized from three members of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorist group, who were killed in an encounter in March with the police, revealed that they planned to carry out suicide attacks on some software companies in Bangalore, Karnal Singh, joint commissioner of police in Delhi told reporters in April.

LeT is demanding independence for Kashmir, part of which is currently a state within the Indian federation. The Indian government has held that LeT and other separatist groups are being aided and abetted by neighboring Pakistan which occupies a part of the disputed territory of Kashmir.

–John Ribeiro, IDG News Service (Bangalore Bureau)