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After IISc terror attack, meet sees scientists, cops in equal numbers

The shadow of the tragic shootout at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore—when terrorists shot dead a mathematics professor last ...

The shadow of the tragic shootout at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore—when terrorists shot dead a mathematics professor last week—loomed so large over the inauguration of the Indian Science Congress here, that the annual gathering of the country’s best scientific minds was very nearly cancelled.

On the morning of the event itself, two terrorists, with improvised explosive devices concealed in tiffin boxes were arrested here, despite Hyderabad’s having been put on high alert.

At the event—traditionally the first public engagement of the Prime Minister in the New Year—the security coverage was unprecedented. The venue was cordoned off for over 12 hours. According to Hyderabad DGP Swaranjit Sen, over 4,500 police personnel had been placed on duty. With an equal number of scientists attending, there was thus literally one policeman on duty per delegate at the venue.

However, the heightened security did not prevent delegates—including nuclear scientists R Chidambaram and P K Iyengar, chemist C N R Rao, polymer engineer R A Mashelkar and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen—from mingling freely with fellow attendees .

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The event, however, went off without mishap. Among those who attended, two Nobel laureates and 75 overseas scientists from 28 countries also took part. The PM arrived in a helicopter, unlike on earlier occasions when prime ministers would arrive by road.

First published on: 04-01-2006 at 01:26:27 am
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