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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

woman breaches security at ISRO; bomb goes off at Manipur

At many places, you see armed sentry guarding the premises, visitors are required to register in a note book, some places there is frisking too – but if you think that security is fool-proof, you are sadly mistaken.  Elementary, somebody trying to breach security is not going to provide real identity and hence the notebook with the watch guard recording Name and contact details, without verification of proof, is never going to serve any purpose.

Today, the buzz is about a  40-year-old woman, suspected to be suffering from depression, breaching  the high-security ISRO campus on old Airport Road here, posing as a senior scientist, and stayed in a guesthouse there for two days.  Despite the Central Industrial Security Force enforcing multiple security checks for visitors, Buela M. Sam hoodwinked everyone and enjoyed ISRO hospitality for two days before being found out, police said. How can somebody who has schemed to breach security, stay there and tried to venture beyond, be merely dismissed as ‘mentally disturbed’ – don’t we smell something nasty in this episode. !!

The Organisation responsible for soaring India into the sky is – the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).  Established in 1969, ISRO superseded the erstwhile Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR). Headquartered in Bangalore, ISRO is under the administrative control of the Department of Space, Government of India.  ISRO has achieved numerous milestones since its establishment. India’s first satellite, Aryabhata, was built by ISRO and launched by the Soviet Union in 1975.

Curious that a woman could so easily be inside and it was only when  she tried to venture into another ISRO campus at Yelahanka, that she was caught. When CISF guards stopped her at the entrance, Ms. Sam told them she was a senior ISRO scientist and had come to attend a seminar.  Growing suspicious, the security officials cross-checked with the higher-ups and found out that there was no seminar. On further scrutiny, her ID was discovered to be fake. She was then handed over to the JB Nagar police. The police were baffled that Ms. Sam managed to stay at the ISRO guesthouse for two days. “It was a serious lapse as the security personnel needed to have checked her background with the department before allowing her to stay,” said a police officer.

Going by newspaper reports,  the intruder got into the ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) guesthouse on September 19 when it had vacancies. The next day, when a Bharat bandh was observed, or on September 21, she carpooled with a few others and travelled to Antariksh Bhavan, headquarters of the Department of Space, some 20 km away, on New BEL Road. There she tried to meet three people and apparently had their exact names and designations.

According to the police, Ms. Sam stays with her parents in Ahmedabad and is married to Alex Thomas, a high schoolteacher from Kollam, Kerala. A B.Com graduate with a diploma in pharmacy, she is unemployed and is being treated for depression. She used to visit her husband in Kollam and go missing before returning to Ahmedabad after a few days. As this habit had become frequent, her family members stopped bothering and did not report her disappearances to the police. This time round, she had been missing for 10 days.

The story does not look credible – if she was indeed mentally depressed and went missing, how did she prepare a fake ID card ? – what were her intentions and what had she communicated to her bosses !!!   it is stated that she  has been booked under Sections 171 (forging the identity of a public servant with fraudulent intention), 448 (trespass), 471 (forgery), and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code.

Only last week, we read about the  ISI-sponsored espionage module busted with the arrest of 35-year-old Thamim Ansari in Tiruchi. According to an NIA official, the espionage module had raised apprehensions among law-enforcing agencies about the existence of more such operatives in this part of the country. According to police sources, two DVDs containing defence-related visuals were seized from him Ansari, who admitted to interrogators that he had sent a few ‘consignments’ to Sri Lanka through agents working for a Pakistan High Commission official there.  It reportedly was a case of man in thick of public but clandestinely taking photos of establishments and religious places with apparent intent to cause harm.  Preliminary investigation are stated to have indicated of the  Ansari’s future assignment  to cover the nuclear submarine facility at ‘INS Varsha’ and other Naval establishments in Visakhapatnam. He reportedly hails from  Thanjavur where he is living with his wife and son. A former activist of the Students Federation of India, affiliated to the CPI (M), Ansari was also a member of Rotary Club.

In an apparently unrelated but one of grave concern, a  powerful bomb exploded in the office complex of ‘M Sector’ (army office) in the heart of Manipur capital complex here at 5.30 am this morning of 25th Sept 2012 -  no casualty was reported, official sources said.  It was not yet exactly known how the bomb went off at the heavy-security complex adjoining Manipur Raj Bhavan and prestigious Johnstone Higher Secondary School, the sources said. Official sources refused to divulge any information when asked whether the bomb was hurled at the four-cornered wall complex by insurgents from roadside or an accidental explosion of grenade or bomb kept inside the army complex.

A mentally challenged woman, creating fake ID cards wanders to high profile zone, another man living like a commoner, takes photos, videos and sends them to our enemies, bomb explodes near army office – all things not good for the country; stringent action needs to be taken and strong punishment handed out to the perpetrators and those who harbour them.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
25th Sept. 2012. 


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