Did this bomb hoax call come from Goa speaker’s mobile phone?

December 5th, 2008 - 6:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Dec 5 (IANS) First there was panic, then confusion and now probably embarrassment, as a five-star hotel here received a bomb hoax and the police were informed of the number from which the call had been supposedly made. The number turned out to be the Goa speaker’s. The Cidade Goa Hotel late Wednesday night received a phone call, claiming there was bomb in one their rooms and it would blow up any minute.

The hotel security immediately informed the police about the bomb threat and also gave them the number from which the call supposedly came. The police were shocked when they realised that the number belonged to Goa Speaker Pratapsing Rane, who was incidentally having dinner in the hotel at that time.

“The Cidade Goa Hotel staffers called our police control room and told us that they had received a call from a mobile number and that the caller had claimed that there was a bomb in one of the hotel rooms,” Superintendent of Police (CID) Atmaram Deshpande told IANS.

“We rushed a bomb squad and a dog squad to the rooms but found nothing suspicious,” he added.

Superintendent of Police (North) Bosco George, while confirming the incident, claimed that no police complaint has been registered.

Asked about the identity of the caller, Deshpande refused to comment.

When contacted by IANS, Rane confirmed the incident. “I was having dinner at a restaurant in the same hotel. I had also called the hotel reception earlier to speak to one of the hotel guests,” he told IANS Friday.

“After about 40 minutes the police called me and said that there was a bomb threat made from this phone. I believe it was a mistake. The lady at the reception must have mixed the number up. There’s nothing much to be said,” Rane said.

When asked whether the police would take any action in the case, Deshpande said it was up to the district police to take action.

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