6-year-old calls GRP: 'Hotel Taj will be blown up'
Influenced by TV serials, the boy made the call on December 30 when the state already had an IB alert; ATS grilled the Dombivli boy for two days before letting him go
This incident is surely a sign of the times that we live in. A six-year-old boy, influenced by TV serials and a Marathi movie, sent the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) into a tizzy by making a hoax call. The ATS officers took the Std I student's call seriously, traced it, and grilled the kid for a couple of days before letting him go.
The six-year-old boy allegedly made a call to the Government Railway Police (GRP) helpline claiming that he was a Pakistani national and a terrorist was going to blow up the Hotel Taj Mahal Palace and Tower at the Gateway of India.
The Thane Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and Government Railway Police (GRP) questioned the boy in his family's presence and let him go. The call was made on December 30. The hotel was gearing up for New Year's celebrations from the next day. There was already an Intelligence Bureau alert. "We took the call seriously and traced it to Dombivli," said a GRP officer.
By night, the police reached the residence of the caller in Dombivli (west). "We learnt that the call was made in the afternoon from the cell phone of a teenaged girl. The girl told us that her six-year-old brother often plays with her mobile," said a police officer from the Thane ATS.
When the cops questioned the six-year-old boy, he denied making the call.
"We also asked his mother, so she questioned the child. She later recalled that when she was in the kitchen, she had heard something about Pakistan from her kid's mouth," said the ATS officer.
The ATS officers thoroughly questioned the boy and also asked him to speak to the GRP control room again. The GRP constable who had picked up his call identified it to be the same boy who had made the call. "We spoke to him on December 31 and January 1. As the boy was a minor we had to let him go," said the ATS officer.