News of ‘terrorist attack’ creates panic in ChandigarhApril 10th, 2009 - 10:14 pm ICT by IANS
Chandigarh, April 10 (IANS) Panic gripped Chandigarh Friday as news of a terrorist attack at the police recruit training centre spread through the city. However, it later turned out to be a mock drill by the security forces.
To give a real touch to the exercise, nobody was informed about it being a mock drill until it was over. Traffic was stopped at all sensitive places and emergency sirens went off while fire brigade vans, bomb disposal squads, quick reaction teams, sniffer dogs, and ambulances were also pressed into service.
Madhur Verma, an assistant superintendent of police, told IANS: “It (the drill) was to check our preparadeness to handle unexpected terrorist attack in the future. The Chandigarh police in collaboration with the Punjab police, Haryana police, CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) and ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) took part in the mock drill.”
“Now based on our observations, we would draft a contingency plan to handle any emergency situation. We have also zeroed on some of the shortcomings and we would make efforts to overcome them at the earliest,” Verma added.
As the drill went on, there were repeated calls by worried people to the offices of print and electronic media offices inquiring about the situation.
“There was a rumour all around that terrorists have attacked Sector-26. We were all shocked and frightened on seeing speeding ambulances and police gypsies moving on the roads. Not even the police personnel were telling us the truth,” said Hemant Rana, a city resident.