A massive hunt was underway yesterday in this southern Indian city for a gunman who attacked an international science conference, killing a professor and wounding four delegates, police said.
Political leaders and police chiefs from Karnataka state, of which Bangalore is the capital, were to meet here to review security measures in the city, India's technology hub, while the interior ministry has called an emergency meeting in the capital New Delhi, television channels reported.
Officers found one Ak-47 automatic rifle, a live grenade and 11 empty cartridges at the Indian Institute of Science, where the attack took place late Wednesday as the conference was ending, and nearly 300 Indian and foreign delegates were leaving for dinner.
Although only one person opened fire on delegates before fleeing, police said the attacker may have had accomplices. They declined to give details.
"It was like crackers exploding. Suddenly I saw one man falling. He said, 'I have been shot. Call an ambulance.' That's when I realised that some firing was happening," said A.N. Sukumaran, a security supervisor who witnessed the shooting. The intruder escaped under the cover of darkness.
The shooting sparked panic among delegates who frantically tried to find friends and colleagues.
"Four persons were injured and one died. Of the injured, one is in a critical condition," said B. S. Sial, director general of police in Karnataka. "Some terrorist person is involved."
None of the foreign participants was injured.
Police were yesterday combing the premises with electronic detectors and found a bag, one police official said, declining to elaborate further on the details of police evidence.
Police said the conference on infrastructure development may have been targeted because of the prominence of the institute.
Bangalore, an outsourcing hub, is home to more than 1,500 domestic and foreign technology firms. India's intelligence agencies have in the past warned of terrorist attacks on these companies.
Indian newspapers reported yesterday that central intelligence agencies had recently warned Bangalore police that militants were planning to carry out attacks in the city.
The media said police were investigating whether those behind the professor's killing were linked to a Kashmir militant group.