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Chinks in Karnataka High Court armour

The blast at the Delhi High Court prompted a reality check on security at Karnataka HC only to reveal severe lapses
 
Though the Bangalore Police Department went into a huddle yesterday following the blast at the Delhi High Court, which killed ten people and left around 45 wounded, a reality check at the Karnataka HC revealed a shocking lapse in security arrangements.


Porous security: People pass through a defunct metal detector
door-frame at Karnataka High Court Building in Bangalore. Pic/Ramesh H


Of the four entrances leading into the main area of the HC, only the main gate has a metal detector, which upon checking, proved to be out of order and even the hand-held detectors were not working. When a security official on the premises was questioned, he said, "No, we do not have CCTV cameras yet. We have had meetings, but the tenders have not been passed.

ACP in-charge of security added that the personnel were not trained in the use of some equipment.
"Security personnel do not know how to use the frisking devices. These devices were not working for a long time as a result of technical snag, but that has been rectified. We trained our personnel to use these devices effectively today," said K V K Reddy.

Chinks in armour
Sources within the Intelligence Bureau have condemned the lapse of security at the HC. "Despite repeated requests, a majority of the key installations neglect threat perception for various reasons. Most installations lack a security apparatus, which is why they are vulnerable to such eventualities," said a source at a senior position in the IB.

Despite the Karnataka Advocates Association making repeated demands for more security, nothing has been done. Shankrappa, chairman, Karnataka Advocates Association said, "We have sent requisitions and demands to the government, but sadly no changes have been made. However, after the Delhi incident, the government immediately sanctioned 100 CCTV cameras, which will be installed shortly."  

Senior lawyers and retired judges have also questioned the lapse of security at the Karnataka HC. "There is a need for proper security. The Delhi HC blast should serve as an eye-opener for security forces in the state," said V K Patil, senior lawyer.

Cops on alert
Meanwhile, a high alert was sounded in the city yesterday and security arrangements were beefed up at key installations. City police commissioner B G Jyothiprakash Mirji said that the city police were on high alert and security was increased at public places like bus stations, railway stations and the airport.

"Instructions have been given to all police officials to be alert around the clock and to keep a close vigil on suspicious elements and take necessary precautions," he said. Mirji also informed that all leaves were cancelled in view of public safety and the police were deployed in full strength across the city to upgrade security at vital installations. He also added that all vehicles at entry and exit points of the city will be thoroughly checked.
(With inputs from Imran Gowhar)

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