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Palika emptied,sealed for 2 hours in mock drill

An anonymous call received by the Delhi Police triggered panic at the Palika Bazar and the Connaught Place on Sunday,tearing apart the holiday feel.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
February 9, 2009 12:22:03 am

An anonymous call received by the Delhi Police triggered panic at the Palika Bazar and the Connaught Place on Sunday,tearing apart the holiday feel.

The call,which later turned out to be part of a mock drill by the Delhi Police,was about a bomb planted in the Palika Bazar.

“We carried out a mock drill around the Palika Bazar to check the emergency response preparedness,” a senior Delhi Police officer told Newsline. A hoax call was made around 3.20 pm and all emergency plans and teams rushed into action to check the response time.

Quick reaction teams,a riot control van,the local police and the Delhi Police’s special cell sleuths were at the spot till late afternoon after an SMS about the bomb was sent to the mobile phone of the Station House Officer of the Connaught Place police station.

“In a flash,the SHO alerted all the personnel at the police station to head for Palika Bazar,” an officer at the CP police station said. Bomb disposal squads and sniffer dogs were also rushed to the spot,the police added.

Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said,“It was a mock drill to check police preparedness. The brief was to look for suspected items or a bag with the bomb.”

The market was evacuated and all the entrances were blocked. Even shopkeepers were moved out.

For shoppers,it was a scary experience. A visitor,Ashok Aggarwal said,“I don’t know what is happening here. When I entered Palika,everything was fine,but when I came out the atmosphere had changed. There are scores of cops both outside and in the market. TV channels have also trooped in.”

The police said the drill went on for about two hours,“No one was allowed to enter the Palika Bazar and the market was cordoned off.”

Bhagat added,“Mock drills are meant to create a real situation. We will examine the shortcomings,if any,and act on them.”

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