An ‘SMS’ alarm sent to a senior Police official that bombs will go off today at major railway stations in Tamil Nadu forced the Southern Railway Police to mount a massive search operation almost simultaneously at different places across the State, triggering panic among the passengers and public alike.
The Chennai Central and Egmore railway station here, from where south-bound trains take off, the suburban railhead at Tambaram, 25 km South of the city, besides other major stations including Tiruchirappalli, Madurai and Coimbatore came under intense combing and checking operations since this morning, Police sources said.
While the strength of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has been substantially augmented after the recent terror attack on Mumbai, Police wished to take no chances and pressed the bomb disposal squads and sniffer dogs in the respective areas to thoroughly check for any explosives.
Important railway junctions along all the South-bound routes from Chennai were also combed in one of the longest security checks on railway installations, besides frisking of train passengers, sources said, adding, the SMS alert turned out to be a hoax. “We extensively combed all the main railway stations as we are already on full alert after the Mumbai attack,” a senior Railway Police official told HT here this evening.
Meanwhile, the Cyber Crime Cell of the Chennai Police has been trying to get at the miscreant who sent the ‘SMS message’. "It appears to have originated from Thanjavur (about 350 km South of Chennai) and we are confident of nabbing the person who sent the message by tomorrow," sources added.