Thursday, March 7, 2013

Security??

Just entered the gates of Anushakti Nagar (the residential section of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre) in Mankhurd, Mumbai. I was accompanied by my cousin, who stays there as a permanent resident. Here's the sequence of events.
  • I drove to the gate on my two-wheeler, closely followed by my cousin; also on a two-wheeler. Both of us were wearing helmets. I had a backpack with my laptop and my clothes in it.
  • I was stopped by a fat lump of an outstretched arm connected to an even fatter lump of the BARC security constable. He raised an eyebrow at me.
  • Through my helmet visor, I told him that I had come to stay with my cousin (gestured behind me) and confirmed that he stayed there as a resident. He glanced at my cousin, at his bike, at the BARC sticker on it and waved me through. Mind you, he also told me to sign in at the entrance as a visitor.
  • I parked my bike by the side of the road. My cousin waited near my bike.
  • I walked to the reception, signed my name, entered my address and phone number and cousin's address and phone number.
  • The constable sitting at the reception glanced at my data-entry efforts, gave me a security pass and nodded at me.
Not once did anybody ask either me or my cousin to remove my helmet. Not once did anybody ask either me or my cousin to show any form of identification. Not once did anybody ask either me or my cousin any questions whatsoever. Not once did anybody check the bags that either me or my cousin were carrying. We entered with impunity and could have caused havoc with impunity.

Ladies and gentlemen, BARC Colony - a sensitive, volatile and important location in Mumbai as far as security is concerned. A location which should ideally have the most stringent of security measures. Even a mall has better security.

Incredible India!