Sunday, July 27, 2008

On Security

In case you missed the news, there have been over a dozen bombs set off over the past two days in two separate citites in India. A group calling itself "Indian Mujahadeen" has claimed responsibility. They're a relatively new and unknown group of terrorists here in India.

To anyone wondering, I am fine. The targeted cities are far from Delhi. That doesn't mean, though, that Delhi is "out of the woods" so-to-speak, so I have been laying low a bit, steering clear of the crowded markets and public transportation. I needed a day to just rest anyway.

Because of the bombings, Delhi is on high alert. I'm not quite sure what that means, but I saw a lot of security here even before the recent attacks. At almost every tourist site and temple, you are asked to open your bag and walk through a metal detector. The Lotus Temple is the lone exception to this rule. There is no security check there, though there are guards at the entrances.

At many sites there is an entrance line for ladies and one for "gents." I wondered why they'd sort people like that until I had to go through one of these lines. These are full-contact security checks where metal-detecting wands go where no metal-detecting wand should ever go, where a woman will ask you, "What in there?" referring to your bra, just before frisking you in that general area.

Delhi's landmarks have an obvious security presence, but it would be hard to secure, for instance, the auto-rickshaws that course about the hundreds of miles of city roads. It would be hard to secure the busses onto which masses of people crowd. It would be hard to secure the messy markets. These are the security risks, and the places I'm avoiding for the immediate future.

Friday and Saturday saw attacks on opposite sides of India. The terrorists either took Sunday off or are done for the time-being. I'm hoping it's the latter but being extra cautious just in case.

No comments: