Panic in Delhi over bomb hoax

Anonymous caller threatens to blow up crowded places

A Delhi police personnel stands guard outside the Palika Kendra building, that houses the offices of the Delhi Municipal Corporation, after a bomb scare there, in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI

“The police control room received the first call at around 10 am,” said a senior police officer said. “The unidentified caller claimed that bombs have been planted at RML Hospital, the high-rise Palika Kendra and Vikas Minar. Minutes later, a second caller said that the bomb has been placed in Safdarjung Hospital, not in RML.”

He also said policemen were dispersed for combing operations to the places, which were visited by Bomb disposal and sniffer dog squads. Ambulances and fire brigade were kept on stand by.

The Safdarjung Hospital in south Delhi was evacuated for checking. “I was in the OPD at Safdarjung hospital about 10.30 am. We were asked to immediately exit the hospital as there was a call regarding a bomb being planted in the building,” said Rakesh Kumar, an out patient at the hospital.

“People at the OPD were asked to leave. Though it was inconvenient, such steps are necessary for ensuring people's safety,” an Safdarjung hospital official said on condition of anonymity.

The sudden exit of several people left the roads outside the hospital clogged with traffic.

“I was stranded at the place for nearly 20 minutes. There was a large police presence and even the fire brigade was present,” said Abhishek Kumar, a commuter. N K Chaturvedi, medical superintendent of RML Hospital, told IANS that there were no evacuations at the hospital.

Intense search was also carried out at Palika Kendra, headquarters of New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) on Parliament Street near Connaught Place, and at Vikas Minar, office of Delhi Development Authority (DDA), near ITO.

Thousands of employees who work at both the government offices were asked to leave the buildings immediately.

“Police got a call in the morning (about the bombs) and all precautions were taken. The building was evacuated,” NDMC spokesperson Anand Tiwari said.  “It was morning time during a week-day. Employees had just reached the office and, following police information, were asked to exit the building immediately,” said an NDMC official.

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