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Mock security drill at Basant Lok shopping complex

Panic gripped weekend shoppers at Basant Lok Complex in Vasant Vihar on Saturday afternoon when police set off crackers in the market complex, reports HT Correspondent.

delhi Updated: Oct 19, 2008 01:23 IST
HT Correspondent

Panic gripped weekend shoppers at Basant Lok Complex in Vasant Vihar on Saturday afternoon when police set off crackers in the market complex.

They were conducting a mock drill to check safety provisions and preparedness of the market staff to tackle emergencies.

Police had chosen a Saturday to conduct the drill, creating panic among the people. The serial blasts that rocked the capital on September 13 and the Mehrauli blast on September 27 also took place on a Saturday.

“I almost skipped a heart beat when I got to know there was an explosion in the Priya Complex. I was having lunch with my friends when the news spread. When we came out we saw sniffer dogs and police all around,” said Sakshi Nagpal, a resident of Gurgaon.

Several shoppers were caught unawares as news spread that there was an explosion in the market complex. Police started the mock drill at 2.40 p.m. on Saturday and it continued for about half an hour.

“We had informed some of the senior officials at the market complex about the mock drill. The idea was to sensitise people and educate them how to react in the time of any emergency,” said a senior police officer.

Police said a call was made to the police control room (PCR) and the fire authorities were also informed. Two fire tenders were rushed to the spot.

A wireless message was flashed and after that ambulance, bomb disposal squads and sniffer dogs were rushed to

the spot.

“We chose afternoon time to conduct the mock drill as relatively the market is less crowded at that time. We did not want any untoward incident like stampede,” said the officer.

On Wednesday, the west district police had conducted a mock drill at TDI Mall in Rajouri Garden. Here too they had exploded crackers in a dustbin to check the preparedness of the mall staff in handling such cases.

On Thursday, the central district police had conducted a similar exercise at Karol Bagh market. “The drill was conducted to train street vendors and shopkeepers in tackling any such terror attack,” said Jaspal Singh, DCP (central).