BENGALURU : Massive security checks were carried out post 1 am on Wednesday, inside the Karnataka Express from New Delhi, at all stations en route within the South Western Railway (SWR) Zone, following a hoax call warning to kill passengers inside the train, as soon as it entered the state.
An alert on the call was received by the Government Railway Police (GRP) in Karnataka from the Railway Control Room in Agra on Tuesday evening. The caller added that one of his male relatives on board the train had explosives in his possession.
A top Railway source reported the caller from Agra as stating: "As soon as the Karnataka Express enters the state’s border, there will be a blast, which will kill a maximum number of passengers."
The Bomb Disposal Squad, the Railway Protection Force and the GRP swung into action, along with sniffer dogs, as soon as the train entered Kalaburagi station, which falls within SWR limits. "The train was thoroughly checked. An alert was issued to all the stations en route. The train later enters Andhra Pradesh, and re-enters Karnataka at Hindupur. Massive checks were carried out at Hindupur station too. The checks continued until the train reached KSR Railway Station at 1.40 pm on Wednesday," the source said.
The suspect in question has been interrogated by the cops. "He seems to be a relative of the caller. His guilt is yet to be proved," the source added. The Karnataka Express (Train no. 12628) had departed from New Delhi at 9.15 pm on December 13 and reached Bengaluru City at 1.40 pm on Wednesday, a trip of over 40 hours.
The call was possibly made by an individual in a drunken state, the source suggested. "However, we did not take any chances and hence, stringent security checks were carried out," he added. SWR CPRO E Vijaya said that as soon as information was received, the Bengaluru Division also swung into action.
"All on-board staff were altered to be on lookout for suspicious activity or objects and report anything unusual immediately. They were not informed what the call was about," she said. As per Standard Protocol, constant liaison with State Police and GRP was maintained. Meanwhile, New Delhi police have identified and taken the hoax caller into custody.