An inebriated man was arrested on Tuesday for making a hoax call saying a bomb would explode at a well-known city church, leading to panic among the more than 15,000 people gathered there for Christmas.
Pawan Sharma, 45, was arrested soon after he called up the Mandir Marg police station from a public kiosk in the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital to say that a bomb would explode sharp at 10 pm on Monday in the nearby Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Police said around 15,000 people, who were present in the church, panicked when the bomb disposal squad arrived and carried out an intensive check. People were minutely frisked and made to pass through metal detectors.
According to police, they lost no time in tracing the phone number and its place of origin.
"We immediately sent a team to the hospital in plain clothes and asked them to keep an eye over people using the telephone booths. Sharma was arrested after he again came there and made a similar call," Assistant Commissioner of Police Gurdeep Singh told IANS.
"Sharma revealed during interrogation that he was drunk and wanted to enjoy creating panic among people. He had been arrested for making a hoax call at the Lady Hardinge Hospital in 2005," Singh said. He said that Sharma was not associated with other hoax calls that have put Delhi Police officials in a tizzy over the past couple of days.
On Monday, a multiplex in east Delhi's Prashant Vihar was vacated after a phone call claiming that a bomb had been planted inside the premises. It later turned out to be a hoax.
Sharma, a vendor who lives in old Delhi's Paharganj area, was produced before a city court and has been sent to 14 days judicial custody.