Panic gripped the Army Base hospital in the high-security Delhi Cantonment area on Monday afternoon after two unidentified youths left a laptop bag in the car of a 69-year-old building contractor at a traffic signal.
Om Prakash Makar, who was travelling with his driver, immediately took the bag to the army officers posted near the Base Hospital’s gate. They asked Makar to leave the bag on the pavement and informed the police. Within minutes, teams of dog squad, bomb disposal squad, SWAT and Delhi Police officers reached the spot.
Makar said, the two youths on a bike, left the bag in his car at a traffic signal, just 150 metres away from the hospital, saying it was a “return birthday gift”.
Bomb defusing experts soon got into action after sniffer dogs gave an indication that the bag may contain explosives. A mild “explosion” took place inside the bag during the operation. But when the bag was finally opened, the sleuths realised that it was a prank. The bag contained a two bricks, a small empty wallet and a piece of bath soap. Security personnel confirmed that the bath soap misled the sniffer dogs.
Already on a high alert after the Hyderabad twin blasts, the security agencies cordoned off the entire area.
“We could not understand what was going near the hospital gate and why our entry was restricted until someone from the media told us about the matter,” said Sneha, who lives nearby.