Threat a hoax in President Patil’s hometown

May 24th, 2008 - 8:52 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

Jalgaon (Maharashtra), May 24 (IANS) A supposed terrorist outfit’s threat to blow up the civil hospital in front of President Pratibha Patil’s house here Saturday led to a state of high alert before authorities announced it was a hoax. A letter in Hindi purportedly sent by Lashkar-e-Toiba was received at the district collector’s office this week.

The letter said the civil hospital would be blown up Saturday, the way the buildings in Jaipur were on May 13, “if our people are not released by then”.

The police quietly stepped up vigil in and around Jalgaon, including the area surrounding the hospital.

The whisper about the threat letter spread Friday as the superintendent of police, accompanied by police officers and civil surgeon A.C. Patil, took a round of the hospital. Sniffer dogs were pressed into service.

The hospital is in front of President Pratibha Patil’s house.

“My officers have scanned every nook and corner of the building. They have found nothing but the vigil has not been slackened one bit although the threat has worn out,” district Superintendent of Police Shantaram Waghmare told IANS.

Another officer said a cursory look at the postcard was enough to know it was bogus.

A similar threat, supposedly issued by the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), some months ago here had proved to be a hoax.

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