Cops plant 'bomb' to test citizens

Aug 14, 2013, 02:00 IST | Sandip Kolhatkar

Special Branch officials keep a package near Shivaji statute in Kothrud to check alertness of Punekars; exercise kept secret from bomb squad, local police

Panic spread in Kothrud yesterday after locals discovered a bomb-like object near the railing surrounding the Shivaji Maharaj Statue. But later it was learnt that officials of the Special Branch planted the dummy bomb to check the alertness of the citizens. The operation was kept secret from officials of local police station and the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS). 

Explosive situation: An official displays the dummy bomb planted by the officials of Special Branch in Kothrud yesterday. PIC/Sachin Thakare

The dummy bomb was made of cold drink bottle and an empty deodorant that were fused using a red-coloured cellotape, some black wires and a showerhead placed between the bottle and the can.

It was packed in a black-coloured box with wires hanging outside. They even attached a cellphone and a red-coloured bulb to make the objects look menacing.

“The control room received a call around 12 pm and the person informed about the suspicious object near the statue,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Branch) M B Tambade said, appreciating the presence of mind exhibited by thecaller.

Soon, a team of BDDS and local police officials reached the spot and cordoned off the area.

“We restricted the movement of traffic force from both sides. Then we brought sand bags and placed them around the object. Even an ambulance was summoned near the spot,” Inspector (Crime) Shrikant Navale of the Kothrud police station said.

He added that members of the BDDS team checked the package and confirmed that it was just a dummy, as shown in flex boards installed in the city by the police to spread awareness among citizens.

Complaining about the callous attitude of the onlookers, Navale said a lot of people took the exercise lightly and gathered around the BDDS team while its was doing its job. “Some even breached the security perimeter and clicked pictures,” he added.

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