Serious lapse

The breakdown of the security machinery that allowed twin explosions outside the Chinnaswamy stadium on Saturday evening, just a few minutes before the start of a high-profile Indian Premier League match, could have far-reaching ramifications country-wide. India is to host two mega sporting events over the next 10 months, the Commonwealth Games in the national capital in October and the cricket World Cup across various centres early next year. At a time when the world is anxiously monitoring the security situation in a country still to recover from the trauma of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai in 2008, the Bangalore blasts were precisely what the doctor had not ordered. Predictably, the Bangalore city police have slammed IPL authorities for moving the two semifinals slated for Wednesday and Thursday to Navi Mumbai despite offering assurances of fool-proof security.

It is, though, naive to expect the IPL, its security consultants and, most importantly, the players involved to take their assurances at face value. It is little short of providential that there were no casualties following the blasts, which were triggered by low-intensity devices. That a third bomb was defused even as the match was on, and two further bombs were located and defused on Sunday morning, decisively tilted the scales in favour of shifting the semifinals away from Bangalore, no matter how disappointing the move might be for the thousands of die-hard fans of the Bangalore team, the Royal Challengers. Even acknowledging the fact that there is no such thing as fool-proof security, the glaring inadequacies in the security apparatus put in place for IPL matches reflect poorly on the city police.

In seeking to deflect the blame by suggesting that the cricket association and the IPL ought to be responsible for security in the immediate vicinity of the stadium, the officials concerned have merely exposed their own helplessness. The ease with which people walked in and out of the venue on match-eve, and the laxity with which entry was gained to the stadium even after the blasts, was further damning indictment of the absence of proper policing measures. The presence of over a thousand personnel is no guarantee against untoward incidents. It’s in the commitment with which security issues are addressed that the success of the police force lies. Unless this realisation sinks in, Bangalore will be anything but a permanent stop on the global sporting map.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry