Delhi police, who lost track of a US-based Indian despite discovering live cartridges in his bag at the airport here, have now asked Kolkata Police to help trace him even as the incident has raised serious security concerns.
Subroto Lahiri, said to be a professor at a US university, was to go to Kolkata from Delhi Friday morning by Kingfisher Airlines. He left for the West Bengal capital by an Indigo flight later that day, police sources say.
"During investigation it was found that Lahiri had taken an Indigo flight to Kolkata. However, his relatives in Kolkata are still denying that he reached. If Kolkata Police manage to trace him, we will send our team to arrest Lahiri," said a senior Delhi Police officer.
The incident is believed to have sent the alarm bells ringing at the US embassy.
Lahiri, who has been living in America for 25 years, was held for carrying live cartridges Tuesday night at the Delhi airport. He had taken an American Airline flight to the capital and boarded a coach for the domestic terminal for a connecting Kingfisher flight to Kolkata Wednesday morning.
But he left behind a bag in the coach, which was found by the Central Industrial Security Force and handed over to the terminal manager. When the bag was opened, it was found to have live cartridges.
Lahiri was detained at the airport.
"After six rounds of bullets were recovered by a Kingfisher Airlines official from his baggage, Lahiri was detained by police. He is a license holder but his license is not valid in India," the police official said. The license in any case is believed to have expired.
During his detention, Lahiri complained of chest pain and was admitted to the Apollo medical unit at terminal 1D of Delhi airport.
"Later, he was shifted to Fortis hospital, Vasant Kunj," the doctor said. On Thursday night, he was allowed to go.
"After completing the formalities, we allowed him to leave for Kolkata," the police official said.
Lahiri was scheduled to board the flight Friday morning, but at the last moment he refused and left the airport. "It was found that he took a taxi for Taj hotel but he could not be found there also," he added.
Delhi Police have registered a case under the Arms Act and are consulting legal experts.
The incident has raised serious questions about airport security.
Police here also wonder how Lahiri managed to pass US airport security and bring bullets with an expired license.