Hoax Calls Keep City Police on Their Toes as Pranksters Have a Field Day
A day after twin blasts at the Central railway station here left one person dead, a spate of hoax bomb threat calls kept the city police on their toes, even as they warned of action against those spreading rumours.
A prominent city shopping mall at Royapettah, an educational institution and Avadi railway station received bomb threat calls, prompting security officials to launch full-scale searches of the premises, police said.
The call to the mall was received at 10.05 am, when the mall was about to open. All staff and outlet employees except the mall’s security personnel were evacuated following emergency procedures. Mall visitors, including those who had booked their shows in the multiplex housed at the mall, were made to wait until the entire mall was swept for explosives by the Bomb Disposal and Defusal Squad (BDDS). The call turned out to be a hoax.
In the case of the private educational institution the call, in a female voice, came from a pay and use phone in T Nagar and threatened that a bomb would go off on the campus at around 10.20 am. Subsequent searches revealed this too as a hoax call. Police sources said that a man who reportedly mimicked women’s voices was being quizzed. Another bomb threat call was received at the Avadi railway station and that too turned out be hoax after a thorough search.
City Police Commissioner J K Tripathy clarified that all three calls turned out to be hoaxes and warned of stringent action against anyone spreading such falsehoods.
Meanwhile, an unclaimed baggage on Madurai-Chennai Vaigai Express created a flutter at the Tiruchy railway junction on Friday. Passengers and officials heaved a sigh of relief after finding out that the bag belonged to a man who had gone out to buy water.
According to railway police, when the Vaigai Express was approaching Tiruchy railway junction, the passengers in D-4 second class reserved coach had found an abandoned leather bag. Subsequently, they alerted the TTE, who in turn informed the railway police officials in Tiruchy railway junction. When the express train arrived at the junction at 8.45 am, a large number of railway police with Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) were waiting on the platform number one.
After the train was halted, the bomb squad ventured into the coach and checked the abandoned bag for explosives. However, only dress materials were inside the bag. Subsequently, the train resumed its journey from Tiruchy by 9.05 am.
Meanwhile, a passenger from the coach D-2 came to D-4 and claimed the bag. The man, who was identified as Srinivasan from Rajapalayam, was interrogated.
His friend who was also travelling in D-4 coach did not know that the bag belonged to Srinivasan, since the latter carried several number of bags.