Unclaimed bag sparks panic

A suitcase lying abandoned outside the underground Palika Bazaar in the heart of Connaught Place created panic in the area with traders shutting their shops and shoppers leaving the place, in the fear of explosive being planted in it.

Only after the bomb-disposal squad arrived at the spot and took the suitcase in their custody that people took a sigh of relief and resumed work.

“Some people informed a police team patrolling there about the suitcase. Thereafter, the area around the suitcase was cordoned off, until the bomb-disposal squad arrived and checked the bag before taking it in its possession,” said Jatin Narwal, Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi).

“No explosive or harmful substance was found in the bag, it contained only some clothes,’’ Narwal added.

The black suitcase was spotted lying under a tree by some shopkeepers near Pallika Bazaar park. When people asked for the owner of the suitcase no one came forward, which created panic in the area.

“Perhaps someone stole the suitcase and left it after taking out the valuables from it,” said the security guard of the Pallika Bazaar park. This is the fourth such incident in the city in less than a week where a rumour of a bomb in a public place has created panic.

On Tuesday, a hoax call about explosives being planted in a car on Parliament premises created a scare, whereas security was stepped up at Indira Gandhi International Airport on Wednesday after its control room received a “non-specific call” about a man heading for Germany after “doing something big” in Delhi.

On Thursday, police were sent into a tizzy after they received a call from a person claiming that a bomb was fitted to a scooter with a Jammu & Kashmir registration number in southeast Delhi’s Greater Kailash-I. The call too turned out to be hoax.

The national capital is on high alert till January 26 and security has already been stepped up following the terror attack at the Pathankot air base. Police have also received intelligence inputs about the presence of suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad members in New Delhi.

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