Bomb hoax calls: Police and railway officials sweat it out


Published: 23/02/2019


Police control rooms in multiple cities such as Bengaluru and Belagavi received hoax calls early on Friday morning from unidentified individuals claiming that they had placed bombs at railway stations. The calls, coming shortly after the Pulwama attack in Jammu and Kashmir and just hours before Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s visit to Bengaluru, left the police and railway officials on high alert.

Official sources told The Hindu that search operations were carried out in all major railway stations, including Hubballi, Dharwad, Belagavi, Bagalkot, and Vijayapura. In the wake of intelligence inputs about terrorist outfits plotting to carry out blasts in public places, particularly railway stations, a high alert was sounded at all major railway stations under South Western Railway on Friday.

In Bengaluru, an unidentified youth called the city police control room, said that he had placed a bomb at a city railway junction in the wee hours of Friday, and abruptly cut the call. “The city police control room helpline (100) received the call around 1.30 a.m. It lasted less than a minute, with the caller saying that a bomb placed had been at a railway junction in a city. The call was not specific. He did not name the railway station or the city,” said a senior railway police officer. The Bengaluru city police, along with their counterparts in the Railways, conducted extensive search operations even as the bomb disposal squad was pressed into action.

All city railway stations were simultaneouslysearched and the call was eventually proved to be a hoax. However, security at the stations has been beefed up and high alert continues, officials said.

A similar incident took place in Mysuru, where the local police and dog squad initiated a combing operation around 2.30 a.m.

All the incoming and outgoing trains were subjected to through screening and checks throughout the day in Mysuru, with nearly 80 trains screened on Friday, according to K.S. Kabur, RPF Commandant, Mysuru division. Investigations are on to ascertain whether the callers were the same person. FIRs have been lodged in Bengaluru and Belagavi.