One bomb and Bangalore blinks

One bomb and Bangalore blinks

By: || Updated: 30 Dec 2014 03:36 AM
Bangalore: Party zones in Bangalore have been asked to cut short New Year celebrations by an hour after crude bomb explosion that killed a woman.




The precautionary measure has prompted some Bangaloreans to wonder whether the government is unwittingly letting the perpetrators win by enforcing changes in the way people live - something that terrorists worldwide aspire to achieve.


The party zones in Bangalore were expected to stay open till 2am on New Year's Eve this time.


However, following the low-intensity blast on a party street in which the visitor from Tamil Nadu was killed, chief minister P.C. Siddaramaiah indicated at a meeting with police officers that party-goers may have to endure some "restrictions".


Later, an order was issued, shaving an hour from the party window and asking outlets to ring the curtains down by 1am - like last year - instead of the 2am deadline scheduled for this New Year's Eve on Wednesday.


Bangalore police commissioner M.N. Reddi justified the decision to re-revise the deadline. "One hour is not too much as people can party till after midnight and then disperse."


Many see the 1am deadline as a "bonus" as they feared the New Year celebrations would be cancelled. But others have described the plan as a "knee-jerk" reaction that serves the purpose of the bomb planters.


"The government is playing into the hands of these elements by giving them a sense of achievement. What the people need is a fresh dose of confidence," choreographer Prasad Bidapa said.


"The government obviously acted on the advice of the police who should have doubled the security on New Year's Eve and stuck to the original deadline - just to show we will not bow to such terror tactics," Bidapa added.


"Instead of bowing to pressure, the police should actually explain why they couldn't stop this incident in the first place. In fact, the police should prove a point by quickly nabbing the culprits who took a life rather than playing with party deadlines," he added.


The proprietor of a high-profile pub said he was aghast. "This is too much of a weak-kneed approach from the police and the government," said the pub owner who did not want to identify himself. "It's not about losing some business but about showing some character of who we are and what we value," he added.


But Infosys co-founder and vocal public figure Mohandas Pai said: "I was, in fact, fearing they would scrap the festivities. They have slashed only an hour."


"The issue here is whether our police are capable of preventing and investigating such heinous acts of terror," said Pai. "I think it's okay to lose an hour of partying but what we need is overall confidence in our policing and local intelligence that can pre-empt such strikes."


On weekdays, pubs and eateries close at 11pm in Bangalore. The deadline for Fridays and Saturdays was extended to 1am in June. Recently, it was announced that the deadline would be extended to 2am on this New Year's Eve.


Akhil Madhav, a techie celebrating a friend's birthday at a city pub, said: "I also think it's not about the one hour as many of us would be partying at home. But it's how one blast sent shivers down the government's spine. The government should've extended the deadline to 3am to send a message across to the criminals who planted the bomb."


-The Telegraph, Calcutta


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