CHENNAI: A bomb threat to a train arriving at the Central Railway station on Tuesday turned out to be a hoax but it had kept the city police and their Railway counterparts on their tenterhooks.
Around 250 police personnel including senior officials and bomb detection and disposal squads sweated it out at the railway station after a phone call about a bomb on a train was received around noon.
According to police, the phone call was made to the police control room by Sudalaimuthu (40), a call taxi driver hailing from Thoothukudi, through his mobile phone at 11:51 am. The driver, living in West Mambalam with his family, overheard three men at a tea stall in Velachery discussing that a bomb would go off at around 6.30 pm at Central station which ‘should kill at least ten people,’ a police official said. He was taken into custody for interrogation and released after few hours, police added.
Personnel from Railway Protection Force (RPF), Government Railway Police (GRP) and the city police arrived with their respective bomb squads around 3 pm and carried out combing operations at the station. Passengers were subjected to frisking while large parcels were inspected in greater detail by the bomb squad. All trains at the platforms were sanitised.
Though the combing operations were over by 5 pm, around 100 police personnel, including armed commandos and dog squads, were present at the station premises even after 6.30 pm. A bomb squad was sent to Egmore station as well as the driver said he had overheard ‘places other than Chennai Central’ being mentioned.
Security at the station has been stepped up after the twin blasts on a Guwahati bound train on May Day this year which had claimed two lives. Since then, police have been kept on tenterhooks by hoax calls.