BENGALURU: Is the City, which is a hub of key sensitive defence and scientific installations, a sitting duck to fidayeen attacks? “There are several sleeper cells of banned terror organizations in Bengaluru, which are yet to be busted. It will not be surprising if one of them is activated for a suicide mission in any one of these installations.
From the airbase at Yelahanka to the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) campus and the Indian Institute of Science; the City is an important target for jihadis, who are all out to destroy India’s image and economy by hitting, where it would hurt the most.
The most vulnerable targets in the State include the Kaiga nuclear power plants in Uttara Kannada district and Sea Bird naval base in Karwar. Though the security audits of each of these places is done periodically by the City police in consultation with the State Multi Agency Centre (SMAC) and MAC at the Centre (both agencies are with the Intelligence Bureau) it is impossible to rule out fidayeen attacks. Ground Intelligence has to be beefed up and sleeper cells should be busted,” said an officer on condition of anonymity.
“Bengaluru is under the terror radar for long, but unfortunately there have always been general terror alerts, which the IB keeps issuing periodically. General alerts are very confusing and are far more dangerous than specific inputs because the police do not know when and where the terrorists would strike,” said a senior police officer.
How safe are our defence establishments?
After last week's terror attack on the Pathankot airbase the Centre has asked the State governments to overhaul their rusted intelligence gathering apparatus and the standard operating procedures to curtail damage to life and property in the wake of a fidayeen attack or a hostage situation by terrorists.
“We cannot rule out terror attacks by suicide squads, which have been well trained in handling the most sophisticated ammunitions and firearms and have been sent on a suicide mission. The emphasis is now on speeding up the State’s response to a terror attack,” said an official source, deploring the fact that the NIA unit in the city has been headless for more than four months.