Bangaloreans prefer to stay home on weekend after blasts

July 27th, 2008 - 5:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, July 27 (IANS) After the back-to-back serial bombings in the city and in Ahmedabad, life in the country’s IT hub Sunday was subdued with most residents preferring to stay home rather than crowd theatres and other hangout places. A day after the Ahmedabad serial blasts that left at least 45 people dead and scores injured, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa cancelled a scheduled visit to his home district Shimoga, 275 km from Bangalore, and met senior state home ministry and police officers on security aspects.

Vigilance at the crowded city and intra-state bus depots, three railway stations, the airport, busy shopping areas and shopping malls was stepped up with police checking baggage with hand-held metal detectors.

Shopping malls which have their own security strictly enforced the rule that customers pass through metal detectors and allowed handbags after a thorough check.

State director general of police R. Sri Kumar Saturday held a meeting with senior intelligence and law enforcement officials on security measures to be implemented.

“The chief minister has instructed police and civil officials to be vigilant round the clock to ensure safety of the citizens,” an official statement said.

“Security has been stepped at the Krishna Raja Sagar reservoir and Brindavan Gardens near Mysore,” chief minister’s spokesperson said.

Like Saturday, the city weather was gloomy with overcast skies and frequent showers.

The Friday blasts here, which killed a woman and injured seven, the Saturday explosions in Ahmedabad and the cloudy weather added up to a quiet but an anxiety-filled weekend for the Bangaloreans.

People of this city usually prefer to spend their weekend evenings in the famed gardens and upscale shopping malls.

Sreenivas, who uses only one name and is a manger at a multiplex, said there were hardly any takers for the morning and afternoon shows of Hindi and English movies. “We had many cancellations,” he said but declined to give the figures.

Tickets are priced higher for Saturday and Sunday morning shows as they attract large audiences in normal situations, he said.

“This weekend it is bad and we fear that attendance for the evening show will be much less in view of the blasts and forecast of heavy rain,” Sreenivas said.

Uma, a 45-year-old housewife who was worried Friday that her son, a student of Class 11, had not returned home till late evening as he had gone out with friends to a shopping mall, said she will not allow him to move out Sunday.

“It is not panic. But anxiety. Why take risk? Hopefully, incidents of Friday will not be repeated in Bangalore,” Uma prayed.

R. Krishna Kumar, 28, a hardware engineer at a BPO firm, said he and his friends have given up the idea of going to an evening movie show and would spend the time at his place.

“We have cancelled the programme more because of the bad weather and not because of serial blasts here and in Ahmedabad. You know, how badly roads get waterlogged in Bangalore if there is a heavy shower even for half an hour,” said Kumar, a bachelor from central Karnataka’s Davanagere district.

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