A hoax call, a wild goose chase and a harassed journalist
A prank phone call made to their control room on a lazy Sunday afternoon snowballed into a major embarrassment for the Delhi Police when two, seemingly ‘phonetically challenged’, officers landed at a senior journalist’s doorstep, looking for a non-existent consignment of narcotics.delhi Updated: Mar 12, 2012 01:14 IST
A prank phone call made to their control room on a lazy Sunday afternoon snowballed into a major embarrassment for the Delhi Police when two, seemingly ‘phonetically challenged’, officers landed at a senior journalist’s doorstep, looking for a non-existent consignment of narcotics.
The incident occurred at John Cherian’s residence at South Delhi’s Neb Sarai at 2:30pm and concluded with telephonic apologies, made by senior police officers over the phone an hour later, for the trouble caused to the noted foreign affairs correspondent apropos a mischievous ‘miscommunication’.
“It was a normal Sunday afternoon when the door bell rang and two uniformed police men just barged into my house,” Cherian, a resident of the Anupam Apartments, said.
The duo, who introduced themselves as a part of a special unit from the local police station, claimed they were acting on information that Cherian was sitting on a cache of smack which, according to the call assigned to them, the latter had just received.
“I told them they had to produce a warrant before they could search my residence at which they calmed down and started making some queries over the phone,” said Cherian.
These calls, police sources said, were made to the ‘complainant’ who had ‘tipped-off’ the police control room in the first place.
“When they told the complainant that they were at house number 107 (pronounced ek sau saat in Hindi) and there was nothing there, he told them to go to house number 160 (pronounced ek sau saath),” an officer said.
However, nothing suspicious was found even at that address.
“The number has been put on surveillance and efforts are being made to track down the hoax caller who caused embarrassment to us and led to inconvenience to the senior journalist,” the officer said.
Chhaya Sharma, DCP (south) confirmed the incident and said that a criminal case had been filed but refused to divulge details.