HAVANA SYNDROME | Best NDA Coaching in Lucknow
The Centre has told the Karnataka HC it will look into the matter of the ‘Havana Syndrome’ in India
THE CENTRE has told the Karnataka High Court that it will look into the matter of the ‘Havana Syndrome’ in India, in response to a Bengaluru resident’s petition. A court disposed of the petition on July 27 after the Centre’s counsel agreed to examine the case within three months.
The petitioner had approached the court requesting a writ of mandamus for an inquiry on the Havana Syndrome and the prevention of high-frequency microwave transmission in India.
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What is Havana Syndrome?
Havana Syndrome refers to a set of symptoms said to be experienced by United States intelligence and embassy officials in various countries. It typically involves hearing certain sounds without any outside noise, nausea, vertigo and headaches, and memory loss.
As the name suggests, it traces its roots to Cuba, in late 2016. This was about a year after the US opened its embassy in the capital city of Havana after ties between the two countries were normalised in 2015. Some US intelligence officials and embassy staff began experiencing sudden bursts of pressure in their brains followed by headaches, disorientation and insomnia.
Where else has it been reported?
Since the Cuban incident, American officials posted in various countries have reported symptoms of the syndrome.
In early 2018, similar accusations began to be made by US diplomats in China. Another incident had previously been reported by a USAID employee at the US Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in September 2017. In 2019 and 2020, such incidents have been reported from within the US-particularly in Washington DC. One incident was even reported at The Ellipse, a lawn adjacent to the White House.
According to US media reports, in the past few years, its officials have reported more than 130 such experiences across the world including in Russia, Poland, Georgia, Taiwan, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Austria.
In India, the first such case was re- ported in 2021, when a US intelligence officer travelling to New Delhi with CIA director William Burns reported symptoms of the Havana Syndrome.
What are the causes of Havana Syndrome?
No one is entirely sure. During the Cuban experience, happening in a country that had been hostile to the US for over five decades, the suspicion was on Cuban agents, carrying out a “sonic attack”.
However, further study by scientists in the US and medical examination of the victims began to suggest that they may have been subjected to high-powered microwaves (a form of electromagnetic radiation) that interfered with the nervous system. It was suspected that beams of high-powered microwaves were sent through a special gadget that Americans then called a “microwave weapon”.
After many years of data collection and study, the US has as yet not been able to come up with any conclusive evidence that the “microwave weapon” is a reality.
Some medical experts in the US have debunked this theory, calling the syndrome a psychological illness amplified by fear of being targeted.
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