Bomb scare in south Delhi market

December 2nd, 2008 - 1:01 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 1 (IANS) Shops shut down, people ran helter skelter and the bomb disposal squad arrived at a market in south Delhi Monday evening after an auto-rickshaw driver raised an alarm, saying that passengers might have planted bombs in his vehicle. However, what were suspected to be bombs turned out to be crackers.The auto rickshaw driver, whose identity has been withheld, raised an alarm when two young men alighted from his vehicle in Kotla Mubarkpur market in South Extension area and ran away without taking their large jute bag.

“I called them many times but they just ran away. When I opened the large bag, I noticed something like a bomb lying inside and raised the alarm,” the driver said.

The men had hailed the auto-rickshaw from Bhikaji Cama Place.

The police immediately swung into action and evacuated the entire area. However, it was at least 45 minutes before the bomb disposal squad and four sniffer dogs arrived at the spot.

The bomb disposal squad opened the bag and found it filled with firecrackers.

But the police were concerned about the time taken by the squad to arrive at the scene.

“Yes, they were late by about 45 minutes due to some reasons not known to us. It is such a serious matter. Had it carried a bomb, it could have caused massive damage,” said a police official present at Kotla Mubarkpur market, which remains heavily crowded in the evenings.

Delhi Police officials said they were questioning the auto driver about the two men and were taking the matter very seriously.

The Intelligence Bureau had earlier sounded an alert that terrorists might use auto-rickshaws for triggering blasts in crowded areas of the capital.

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