A suspicious object that led to a bomb scare in the heart of the capital on Wednesday evening turned out to be a just box containing currency notes, but the incident has left many Delhi residents shaken.
"I was flipping channels after coming back from work on Wednesday evening when I saw the breaking news flashed in one of the news channels. All it said at that point of time was that a live bomb was found in Connaught Place, where I work," Risha Misra, a travel agency employee, told IANS.
"My immediate reaction was 'oh God, not again'. Can we ever relax and say that we are safe now? Thank God it was just a scare - it also shows the rising awareness amongst people to report something that they find suspicious and avoid a possible disaster," she added.
With one terror attack after the other across the country - the latest being the November 26 attacks in Mumbai, where at least 179 people were killed, fear has taken root in people's hearts.
"Such incidents also expose our vulnerabilities. I take the metro everyday and quite often hang out with my friends in Connaught Place. My mother back in Assam gave me a frantic call on Wednesday night after she saw the news. Only when they declared that it was not a bomb did she sleep peacefully," said Akash Baruah, a college student.
Two foreign nationals, said to be Nigerians, had taken an auto-rickshaw from Paharganj to Connaught Place in the afternoon. When a police constable, noticing their "suspicious behaviour", stopped them and questioned them, they fled leaving a bag in the auto-rickshaw, a police official said.
The bag was taken to the Connaught Place police station and an electronic safe was found in it, which a bomb defusal squad (BDS) could not open. The BDS of the Crime Branch was called for help and so was a team of the National Security Guard (NSG) even as sniffer dogs did not find anything suspicious, the official said.
The safe was finally taken to an abandoned place and the lock was blown open. It was found to contain only a few currency notes sandwiching a bunch of white papers of the same size, the official added.
Ragini Sharma, a primary school teacher, said: "It's very sad how edgy and insecure we have become as a city. We sure deserve better security than what we have now, but as a population we have to become more aware and do our bit to try and avoid another human tragedy."