Bomb hoax takes Nagpur police for a ride (Lead)

December 7th, 2008 - 1:26 am ICT by IANS  

Nagpur, Dec 6 (IANS) Some explosive material recovered from a hospital in Nagpur Saturday evening sent police, doctors and patients in a tizzy before it turned out to be just a clutch of tiny plastic pipe pieces and green wire.The “material” was found in a plastic bag kept under a sofa in front of the reception counter of the Crescent Hospital in Dhantoli area, Joint Police Commissioner B.J. Kangale told IANS. He later clarified that it was not an explosive.

The “recovery” was made by the Bomb Detection and Disposal (BDD) Squad half an hour after an anonymous caller told hospital director Aziz Khan that two live bombs had been kept there.

The caller told Khan that the bombs would explode at 5.00 p.m., the police said.

Authorities rushed the BDD squad to the hospital and asked Khan to evacuate the hospital. BDD squad personnel took the bag away for neutralising explosives outside city limits even as a big crowd of onlookers gathered in front of the hospital emptied of its patients and their relatives.

But as the defusing operation started, police found the material to be plastic pipes similar to those fitted in radio sets, and a green wire.

The prank call was traced to a public phone booth in Sitabuldi area where its operator told police that a young man in the age group of 22-25 had made the call and fled, Kangale said.

The police were in a state of alert in view of the 16th anniversary of the Babri mosque demolition.

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