Bomb scare near Ganesh mandal holds up LBS Road traffic for hour

Sep 07, 2011, 07:03 IST | Vivek Sabnis

Lunchbox abandoned on road by bikers leads to panic before bomb squad investigates and declares it false alarm

Lunchbox abandoned on road by bikers leads to panic before bomb squad investigates and declares it false alarm

Just days after the police alerted the city to a terror threat during Ganapati this year, an abandoned lunchbox at a busy junction on Lal Bahadur Shastri Road created panic yesterday morning.

Phew! A member of the bomb disposal squad investigates the abandoned
lunchbox on Lal Bahadur Shashtri Road

At 11.45 am a woman spotted a biker drop a lunchbox in the middle of the road near the Senadatta Ganapati Mandal and speed away, and local residents and shopkeepers hit the panic button. All hell broke loose as traffic in one of the busiest areas in the city was held up for over an hour.

Rajani Kartik Vakil, the middle-aged woman who spotted the biker, said she approached the Senadatta police chowky and reported seeing two youngsters abandon the lunchbox on the road. Vakil also gave a description of the youths and their bike to the on-duty constables, Avinath Mandhare and Vinayak Gujar.

The incident was immediately reported to the police control room and subsequently to the bomb disposal squad at Shivajinagar. Police Constables P N Gund, Dongre, Budhawane, Dalimbe and Shirtare were present when the bomb disposal squad reached the spot. "There was no name on the lunch box and we are trying to trace the bike," said PSI Madhav Survanshi of the Senadatta police chowky.

Vakil said she reported the matter to the police as she found it strange that somebody would leave a lunchbox on the road. "I was with my husband and saw two youths hurriedly keeping the tiffin down on the road and speeding off," she said. "I thought I should inform the police immediately."

2nd scare in area
API Madhav Suryavanshi said it was not the first incident of the kind in the area. "This is the second such incident in the jurisdiction of the Vishrambaug police station in the past eight months," said Suryavanshi.

The previous bomb scare had occurred at the Alaka Talkies Chowk, just a kilometre from the Senadatta Ganapati Mandal.

"In the previous incident, an autorickshaw driver had found an abandoned laptop with its black leather bag inside his vehicle," Said Suryavanshi. "It was later proved a false alarm."

There is not a single CCTV camera on the Lal Bahadur Shastri Road, said Police Constable Vinayak Gujar. While the PMC has not installed a CCTV system to monitor the traffic, the Sanyukt Jawan Senadatta Mitra Mandal says it can not afford it. "The mandal was asked to install a CCTV system, but its members argued that purchasing the set was too expensive and the mandal could not afford it," said Gujar.

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