The Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Dargah in Ajmer was evacuated for a brief period and searched thoroughly after police received a bomb threat on Monday morning. The call was concluded to be hoax after a rigorous half an hour search, police said.
Over 50,000 pilgrims were present inside the world renowned dargah to observe a monthly ritual, Chatti Sharif, when the news broke out, police said. Swiftly swinging into action, police cordoned off the area and searched the entire dargah premises for around 40 minutes.
Talking to HT, Ajmer SP Vikas Kumar said the police have tracked the caller and he would be arrested soon. He said the caller had switched off his mobile soon after making the hoax call. “The SIM used to make the call was issued in Andhra Pradesh, however, the call was made from Ajmer,” the SP said.
According to police, the Ajmer police control room received an anonymous call at 7.45 am about a mysterious object lying near the Payeti gate—the VIP entry—of the dargah. “As soon as the information was received, I immediately ordered to evacuate the dargah…The entire area was sealed and searched thoroughly and pilgrims were allowed to enter only after nothing suspicious was found,” Kumar added.
An intelligence official, without wishing to be named, said the SIM card used to make the call had been issued on an address in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district.
The dargah committee has sent a detailed report to the Central government on the hoax bomb threat issued days before Bakrid, said Ashfaque Hussain, CEO and Ajmer dargah Nazim. After Monday’s incident, dargah diwan Zainul Abedin Khan urged the Central government to hand over dargah security to central paramilitary security forces.
There was a terrorist attack at the dargah on October 11, 2007 when a tiffin bomb had exploded seconds before the shrine gates were opened during Ramzan. Three people were killed and 12 others were injured in the incident. Later three more bombs were recovered from the dargah premises.