On Friday there was a major scare in Bengaluru after a bag had been discovered by the police. What was being termed as a bomb turned out to be jute bag with some wires with a 30 ML liquor bottle in it. While the alertness of the police is commendable, there are certain issues that one needs to look into.
First and foremost, a section of the regional media jumping to several conclusions and terming the incident as the arrival of the al-Qaeda. Then some police versions suggesting that Bengaluru city is on high alert. While there is a need to be alert, there is also a responsibility on part of both the media and the police to be more responsible. The idea is to create an alert and not scare the people.
There is panic in the city:
In the past three weeks there have been three incidents, which have led to a great amount of panic. The Delhi police had visited Bengaluru and arrested a cleric who they termed as an operative of the al-Qaeda in the Sub-Continent. This has created a general panic in the city with many media outlets going on to suggest that the al-Qaeda has opened up its camp in the city.
After this there was yet another incident at the Bengaluru International Airport. A vehicle had been parked and the owner of the same had gone away for a couple of hours probably to see off his friend who was taking an international flight. Someone at the airport who noticed that the vehicle had not moved reported it to the police. The police were quick to reach the spot, tear down the vehicle apart and later declare it safe.
A week back, there was also a mock drill that was conducted at the Vikas Soudha involving the NSG commandos. A lot of people watched with horror. Anyone who watched it could not tell whether it was a real operation or a mock drill.
This was followed by yesterday's incident where a bag had been found near a theatre which led to a great amount of panic.
For the cops the job is a tough one. They have to be alert and yesterday they proved it. However, the problem is here with a section of the media. They were quick to link the arrest of the cleric to this incident and term it as an al-Qaeda operation. The news began to spread like wild fire and whatever the cops had done to keep the public calm went in vain.
One often wonders how five minutes after an incident is reported, do some media outlets have the name of the organisation and the modus operandi.
All this before the bomb squad has even reached the spot. Well so much for the al-Qaeda reporting, the bomb squad finally declared that it was a liquor bottle and not a bomb.