Bomb Blasts Hit India's IT City Bangalore

34 Comments

Updated at the bottom: Over the past few years, the quaint and sleepy town of Bangalore has been transformed into a highly compressed version of Silicon Valley, only with worse housing and transportation problems. Some of the bigger technology companies — Texas Instruments, Intel and Qualcomm — have offices there, along with home-grown Indian tech giants like Infosys Technologies. This doesn’t even count the dozens of call center operators and outsourcing companies that make their home in the city.

Despite the breakneck growth, the city in Southern India was viewed as a laid back and progressive place, devoid of the terrorist activity that had pockmarked India’s major destinations such as Delhi and Bombay. Today all that changed, as Bangalore was rocked by a series of bomb blasts. According to reports, two people have been wounded killed and dozens injured after seven nine bombs exploded in quick succession in the city. (There are disputing reports that say that one person and not two were killed.)

It’s not clear who might be behind these terrorist attacks, but one thing is clear, this is going to have an impact on Silicon Valley and U.S. companies. Bangalore has become integral to Silicon Valley’s life, as indicated by the packed flights that go directly into the city. On any given day, I have received an email from a Yahoo or a Google employee who is visiting their operations in India, some that happen to be in Bangalore. On a more personal note, I have dozens of friends who live in the city. Some of them have gone back from Silicon Valley to start their companies or roll out venture funds. I hope they are all well.

Update: Texas Instruments said through a spokeswoman that the bombings don’t change the chip maker’s commitment to the city. She added, “No TI offices were affected, and no TI India employees were affected that we are aware of.”

An Intel spokesman told us that no one from Intel was near or injured in the bombings. Spokesman Chuck Mulloy said the company will pay attention to activities such as the bombings, but it wouldn’t affect Intel’s continued operations in the area. “As I understand the bombings were about 7 miles from our site and everyone is okay,” he said. Intel has about 2,000 employees in Bangalore.

Update: I changed the headline to reflect some of the facts that have emerged. Our friends (and readers) are keeping us posted.

Update #2: Series of blasts in another Indian city, Ahmedabad, killed 29 people, reports The New York Times.

Follow the blasts story on Twitter.
Follow the Bangalore blasts on Summize
For other blast related stories, check out this blog.

Map via IndiaTimes

34 Comments

wtf

@Sheena
Please stay away from the crack pipe before you post comments. your response to Om makes no sense what so ever!

@Om – thanks for the Post – its reflective of how important Bangalore is to Silicon valley and vice versa.

Sheena

thank you for taking it well…its that media is annoying me totally…i am an Indian in my mid 20s..and it is sad to see the way media plays around with facts to get eyeballs….one fresh example that comes to my mind is the Arushi Murder Case….today even if her dad is released, one still is not sure on killed the girl and the help at home…it is sad the Indian legal force and the police force which is built to help the people has no respect in our eyes…I have lived in the US and I do know both these forces are respected and feared….God actually bless India instead of United States…cld you please ask uncle Bush to say that instead of saying Indians have a grwoing middle class rising thus taking food away from Americans :)

Om Malik

@Libran Lover,

Thanks for your words of support and clearly explaining why this was an important story.

Om Malik

@ Sunil said:

how old are you? that would essentially explain whether you know Bangalore of today and what it was when I was young.

Om Malik

@Sheena Sharma & Others,

While all of you make a strong point, you realize that as a blog you post, and update as you get more information. The information about people dying and blogging came from respectable news sources such as BBC and Reuters. I have to believe their reporting. I wouldn’t call the information they were releasing as “rumors.”

Once it became clear that the bombs were low intensity, we reflected that in the post. More importantly, we checked with many Silicon Valley companies and got their reaction on what was going on and their approach to that situation.

It is what you have to do when blogging about a live news story.

As for removing this post – no that isn’t going to happen.

Anand

I am just curious..What was the original headline??

by the way, for a change, I think the usual terrorists cannot be the ones responsible..Last 3 terror attacks (including the one that happened today in Ahmedabad) were in BJP ruled states..

could be a self-inflicted attack to get draconian terrorist laws like POTA back?

Sheena Sharma

OM, i think you should get your facts right and not be a typical media where you hype what you write more so because you sit in the US and want your site to be visited. What has happened is unfortunate and things are under control…it is sad what has happened, there is a fear and panick and you as media are contributing more to it.

I would suggest please get your facts doubly checked before spreading rumors…..By God’s grace there has been no fatal injuries in Blr blasts..however one women died which is sad…

I do not know if you will keep or remove this post…its up to you, however given that the respected media person you are, please post correct news.

thanks

Sunil

Bangalore a Sleepy Town prior to the IT boom ? You gotta be kidding.

Libran Lover

Although these were low-intensity bombs and the number people killed / harmed was less, I still applaud Om for posting about this. While I agree that the original headline was a little dramatic, I don’t endorse the people above who have criticized Om. These could just as easily have been bigger bombs, having a much greater impact in terms of lives lost and economic losses.

Just because everything is quiet and calm in Bangalore does not make this any less of a serious matter. This was clearly a message by the terrorists to say that they are present in Bangalore and that they pose a very real danger. The terrorists just tied a sword above Bangalore’s figurative head and announced that they can drop the sword whenever they choose to.

Om Malik

@all, thanks for sharing your insights and opinions. I love that you guys can quickly add context to everything. It is making me worry a little less about my friends who are yet to email or call or respond to my phone calls. I am still worried, but less so.

Obama_McCain

So keep dreaming Obama could handle something like this.

He is great at giving speeches, but when hard problems like this happen what is his response?

We need a phase withdrawl from Bangalore. A timetable. All Valley companies will be pulling out.

NOT!

Thejesh GN

Om,
I am Bangalorean and work in one of those *home-grown Indian tech company* . Everything is normal here and there is nothing to panic about.
Thej

kamla bhatt

Om:

These were low-impact bombs and the damage was minimal when compared to bombs that recently went off in Jaipur and Mumbai. The goal was clearly to send a message home.

Most of the major IT companies including Cisco, Intel, Accenture, AOL, SAP, Symantec, Yahoo, Microsoft etc have their offices located on inner and outer Ring Road, which is like an amalgam of 101 and 680 corridor or on Bannerghatta Rd or White Field. None of these IT-heavy areas were impacted.

What is of concern is that one of the low-intensity bombs went off in Hebbal flyover that connects the rest of the city to the main artery that takes you to the new airport.

Kamla

Libran Lover

Another native Bangalorean writing from the US: almost all the blasts were concentrated in Southern Bangalore. Almost all the the tech companies are concentrated in Southern Bangalore? Coincidence? NOT. This was clearly an attempt to destabilize Bangalore’s tech sector. My mom told me that one of the blasts went off in or near a restaurant frequented by local tech workers during lunch time.

gregorylent

your headline makes something out of nothing. i write from downtown bangalore, and this was a very small event. articles like yours, the idiots on twitter, are what make it anything at all. sort of silly

Lasha

These unfortunate events occur in the worst of times, and regardless of where they happen, the effects are no good at all. Om, I hope that all of your friends are okay in Bangalore and these types of attacks don’t happen again.

It’s important for the citizens of Bangalore and the entire country of India itself to stay strong and continue to strive towards the better. Around the world, we have all gotten some taste of what this terrorist type of behavior is like, and we can only persevere and not be broken.

Chetan Venkatesh

I’m a Bangalorean – we’re a loving, tolerant and resilient people. Thats always been Bangalore’s secret sauce -our culture of embrace- like Silicon Valley anyone with a great idea and the passion to build it – Bangalore embraces.

Bangalore will not change – This is only going to help make us stronger and more resilient. Bangalore will continue to lead the way in partnering Silicon Valley in building technology that matters.

ScorpFromHell

The scare has been real but thankfully loss has been minimal. This was may be just a calculated effort to cause fear/panic or a botched up work of some amateur group.

Gaurav

I guess everybody knows who is behind it. The aim clearly is to destablize india’s Tech capital and harm india’s economic interests.Bangalore would be a changed place now.

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