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Monday, February 17, 2020

Lost, couple leaves bags outside BJP headquarters, sparks bomb scare

Soon after police were informed, the office was teeming with ministry officials and security personnel.

Written by Sarah Hafeez | New Delhi | Updated: July 10, 2014 8:44:36 am
The BJP headquarters at 11, Ashoka Road, in the capital. ( Express archive ) The BJP headquarters at 11, Ashoka Road, in the capital. (Source: Express archive )

On Wednesday morning Ashoka Road woke up to a bomb scare just hours before Amit Shah, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s close aide, was set to be anointed the national president of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Police said the bomb scare was caused after three bags were found lying unattended outside the BJP headquarters on Ashoka Road.

After the bags were noticed, the BJP informed police. And soon enough, 11, Ashoka Road was teeming with officials of the Home Ministry, Delhi Police Special Cell officers, the Bomb Squad and mediapersons.

“We alerted police immediately after we were told there were three red bags left lying outside the headquarters. I cannot comment any further, police are looking into the matter,” BJP Media Cell in-charge Shrikant Sharma said.

However, it turned out that the bags belonged to the a couple who had lost their way and accidentally turned up at the party headquarters. Finding the area well-guarded, the couple had decided to leave their luggage there till they found the way to their destination.

According to a senior police officer, the couple — 45-year-old Sandhya Mangalam and her 36-year-old husband Sujit Goswami — who used to be yoga instructors, wanted to go to Bhartiya Sadhu Samaj on Sardar Patel Marg for a meal. However, they lost their way and landed up at the BJP headquarters, police said.

Since they were tired, and had reportedly not had a meal for nearly 36 hours, they decided to leave their luggage — two trolley bags and an air bag — at the office finding it well guarded, police said.

But when they returned for their bags — packed with household wares and personal belonging — they found themselves amid many more security personnel. Before they knew it, they were whisked away by police for questioning by officials of the Home Ministry and the Special Cell.

During questioning, the couple narrated the story of why they had left their bags at the party office. On high alert all morning, the security personnel finally relaxed and returned their bags, police said. Police, however, refused to divulge the couple’s contact details, claiming it was “too soon and a sensitive matter”.

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