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Shootout at ISRO result of misunderstanding
Bangalore, Mar 17 (IANS)
Published on 18 Mar. 2010 12:08 AM IST
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The shootout at the sensitive Deep Space Network (DSN) facility of India’s space agency ISRO appears to be the result of a “misunderstanding” and should not be given importance, the Karnataka government clarified Wednesday. “It appears to be result of misunderstanding and there is no need to give the incident importance,” state Home Minister V.S. Acharya told reporters after briefing Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on the progress of the police probe into the incident early Tuesday morning. According to a sentry of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) guarding the facility at Byalalu, about 40 kms from here, one of the two men moving under suspicious circumstances near the facility opened fire when questioned. The sentry, identified only as Jhadhav, told police he had fired eight rounds in retaliation but the two managed to escape in the darkness. Acharya said senior police officials had visited the spot and talked to Jhadhav and other CISF personnel on duty at the time of the incident. There is no trace yet of the empty shell of the bullet fired by the unidentified man. Police is also searching for two empty shells of the bullets fired by the CISF guard as only six have been found. Acharya said the state government has sent a detailed report on the incident to the union home ministry. If necessary, the minister said, the state government may order a probe by the elite CoD (Corps of Detectives). Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said in New Delhi that the shootout did not appear to be a terror attack. “There is no threat to ISRO. It is an amateurish attack,” he said. The space network was set up in 2007 by the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation for receiving data and images from its first unmanned lunar exploration mission Chandrayaan-1 that was launched Oct 22, 2008, and orbited around the moon till Aug 30, 2009. The Rs.1 billion saucer-shaped facility consists of an 18-metre and 32-metre antennae for the space agency’s lunar and inter-planetary exploratory missions. As one of the country’s high-profile and vital installations, the space agency’s sensitive facilities in Bangalore and other cities are reported to be on the radar of terror elements.

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