Nearly 2,000 people were evacuated from three malls in Saket, south Delhi, after a news channel allegedly received a fax claiming that explosive devices had been placed in one of them on Sunday.
The call, however, turned out to be a hoax. “We got a call around 2 pm from the TV channel about the bomb at Select Citywalk mall in Saket,” said a police officer.
The fax was sent from a PCO booth in Adarsh nagar, northwest Delhi. The booth owner has been detained. “We have got some leads,” said Vijay Singh, additional DCP I, south Delhi.
Close to 2,000 people had to be evacuated from the MGF, Select Citywalk and the DLF malls. “Time is of the essence in such cases. All senior and junior level officers from the Saket police station, a bomb disposal squad and a dog squad were rushed to the area.”
“The malls’ security personnel assisted our officers in evacuating the three malls in half-an-hour,” the officer said.
Sunday shopping was disrupted and film shows cancelled as police cordoned off the area. “I was billing a customer when the alarm went off,” said Harshit Gupta (24), an employee at an outlet in Select Citywalk mall.
Police combed the area for security threats.
“All entry and exit points were sealed. We checked the CCTV footage and the area. Access was restored only around 4:30 p.m. after we were satisfied that there was no hazard,” added the officer.