When the railway police arrested a mobile thief recently, little did they know that he was the same person who had kept the city and the police on their toes a day after the July 13 serial blasts in Mumbai.
On July 24, the railway crime branch arrested Amol Mankar, a resident of Indra Nagar slums, Bandra. He had several cases of mobile theft registered against him.
On July 14, the accused had called up the police control room and told them that there was a high intensity bomb in one of the local trains.
He allegedly also told them not to consider the call a hoax, or take it lightly, or else there would be repercussions. The police had then frantically checked all trains, only to find that the call was a hoax.
On interrogation, they found that Mankar had made the hoax call while travelling in the Khushi Nagar Express, using the mobile phone of a passenger, Krishna Nashad.
“When asked why he had made that call, Mankar said that he had done it for fun. He knew the police and the city was in a state of panic, after the triple blasts, and he wanted to check the preparedness of the police,” said a police officer from the railway crime branch. “Mankar further said that he had no intention of causing any harm,” the officer added.
The railway crime branch handed Manker over to the Kurla railway police. He has been remanded to judicial custody and will soon be handed over to the city police.
Since the recent blasts, the police have received more than 10 hoax calls about bombs.
Police said that such calls have become a nuisance, as even though they know it might be a prank, they cannot take the call lightly and have to take requisite measures before they can ascertain that the call is a hoax.