No explosive was found in Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express from Jammu that was stopped and thoroughly searched for over four hours by the Army and police at Pathankot in Punjab following an alert about the presence of a bomb inside it.
The alert was passed on to Punjab police by their J&K counterpart, following which the search operation was launched, Pathankot SSP, Rakesh Kaushal said.
“No explosive was found in the train after which it was cleared for its onward journey,” he said on Monday. The train had left Jammu Tawi railway station on its scheduled time at 7:40 PM and reached Kathua station (in J&K) late by 17 minutes as against its arrival time of 8:42 PM.
It arrived at Pathankot Cantt railway station’s platform number 1 at about 9:35 PM on Sunday and after being thoroughly searched it finally left the station at 1.57 AM after a total detention of 4.30 hours.
After its onward journey it reached Ludhiana four-and-a-half hours behind schedule and finally reached New Delhi at 8:55 AM, almost four hours late as against its scheduled arrival time of 5 AM making up 35 minutes of delay.
The SSP said that initially nearly 150 security personnel including three DSP-rank Punjab Police officers, one SP-rank officer, besides personnel drawn from the Government Railway Police (GRP) thoroughly searched the Jammu-Delhi train at Pathankot Cantt station, which is situated about 250 km from Chandigarh.
“Later on, we sought the Army’s help and they then again searched the entire train. Anti-sabotage teams searched the train, bogie by bogie.
The luggage of each and every passenger was thoroughly checked, their tickets were also checked again,” he said.
Kaushal said that while some passengers were made to disembark from the train, but not everyone was asked to get down as that would have created a panic situation.
He said that the Pathankot Police immediately swung into action after “a specific input was passed on by the DGP of J&K Police to us. We did not want to take any chances…”
Dog squad, bomb disposal squad and other equipments were pressed into service to check the train.
Notably, security forces are on alert in the wake of December 5 terror attacks carried out by the militants in Jammu and Kashmir and also in view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the State on Monday.
Pathankot town in Punjab is located along the Punjab-J&K border.