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IB’s anger management

india Updated: Dec 07, 2008 01:11 IST
Manish Pachouly

The Union government has asked the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to gauge the public anger against politicians following the November 26 attack in Mumbai, as the parliamentary elections are scheduled for early next year.

Bureau officials said they were put on the job immediately after the public ire against politicians began to surface. The bureau has already submitted a preliminary report.

Now it is working on how big and serious the public anger is and how long it will last. And if the agency feels that the situation will continue even after a fortnight, it will submit another report.

In 1977, after two years of Emergency rule, the IB was assigned a similar job. It advised then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that she should go for an election, as the public mood was tilted towards her. But the results proved otherwise.

Sources in the agency said operatives had been attending rallies, gatherings and prayer meetings organised to condemn the attack or to pay homage to the dead. The government is also worried over the banners and slogans condemning politicians and their statements at various gatherings.

An unprecedented public gathering on Wednesday at Gateway of India witnessed thousands of people with banners, condemning the terror attack and expressing anger against politicians. Also, a volley of SMSes has brought people together to express their anger.

An IB official said on condition of anonymity that the preliminary report identified the reason for the public ire as wide media exposure to the scenes during and after the attack and the intelligence failure.

He said, “This is the reason why the government tried to restrict repeat telecasts of the attack footages as it would further worsen the public mood.”