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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 December 2005, 00:53 GMT
Professor dies in Indian gun raid
A police officer in Bangalore stands by a car damaged by gunfire
Police said gunmen sped off after firing at an auditorium door
A professor has been killed by a gunman who opened fire on a science conference in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, police say.

Three other people were also wounded as the gunman sprayed automatic gunfire at the Indian Institute of Science before escaping in a car.

Professor MC Puri, from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, died on the way to hospital.

Police have set up checkpoints across the city.

'Random fire'

Those wounded were said to be scientists and laboratory technicians attending the conference.

The Indian Institute of Science is a leading postgraduate college in India's technology hub of Bangalore.

Map showing Bangalore

The attack took place at about 1930 local time (1400 GMT).

Police said the assailants approached in an Ambassador car. One of them got out and fired randomly outside an auditorium door. The car then sped off.

Officers quoted by AFP news agency said they had found an assault rifle, empty cartridges and a grenade at the scene.

Security supervisor AN Sukumaran, who witnessed the shooting, told AFP: "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."

One of those injured, Prof Vijay Chandru, is the founder of the Indian-developed palm-computer, the Simputer. It is not clear how serious his injuries are.

Lie detector

State Chief Minister Dharam Singh has called an emergency meeting for Thursday.

Abu Salem, flanked by police officers, is taken to a laboratory in Bangalore
Gangster Abu Salem has been brought to Bangalore for tests

"We cannot say at this stage whether terrorists are involved in this incident," an official at his office said.

Sri Prakash Jaiswal, India's junior home minister, told reporters in Delhi that "it would be too early to call it a terrorist attack", adding that it could have been directed at an individual.

The incident happened hours after gangster Abu Salem was brought to Bangalore for lie detector tests over his alleged involvement in bombings in Mumbai (Bombay) in 1993 that killed 250 people.

Abu Salem was arrested in Portugal in 2002 and extradited to India in November.

Police said there was no suggestion yet of a connection but they were investigating any possible link.


SEE ALSO:
India 'most wanted' back in court
23 Nov 05 |  South Asia
Woe for traffic offenders in Sim city
01 Aug 05 |  South Asia
Country profile: India
07 Nov 05 |  Country profiles
Timeline: India
09 Nov 05 |  Country profiles


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