A former student of 'Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University', where the Monday massacre took place, Dr Satish V Kulkarni, Counsellor for Science, Technology, Environment at the US embassy here, told the media he saw no reason why campus life there could be in jeopardy.
''The Indian community there was a healthy, happy and well-knit group which had a strong presence and very much at ease with the environment there. There was no cause for concern as the incident was a one-off and by no means indicative of a pattern, trend or something generalised.'' A well equipped three-tier security system was in place to address all security aspects of the student class, community and people in general involving 'Campus Police', 'City Police' and 'State Troopers'. ''However, being an open society we cannot police individuals entering the University premises.'' Conceding that 'arms availability' was a US law practice, though it did not mean allowing weapons inside the University premises, Dr Kulkarni said, ''We cannot operate like an airport. We have to maintain a balance between security and openness.'' Though sad and disturbing, incidents like this were few and far between, more of an aberration than routine. The campuses were very safe and safety to all was a foregone conclusion, added Dr Kulkarni who did his PhD in Engineering Mechanics from 'Virginia Plytechnic Institute and State University' in United States.