Following a hoax call about a bomb aboard, the Lucknow-bound Swarn Shatabdi Express was stopped at Ghaziabad junction early on Sunday morning for a thorough check. The call was received a day after the Indian Air Force’s Pathankot base was attacked by terrorists.
Railway officials said that the train had to make a stop at Ghaziabad junction for 64 minutes after it arrived there at 6.48 am. They added that they had received inputs from the Government Railway Police (GRP) at Delhi about a security threat to Shatabdi, Duronto, Rajdhani and other trains running between Delhi and Kanpur.
“We received a call from Delhi about the bomb on board the Shatabdi Express. The train was stopped at Ghaziabad for a thorough screening. GRP, Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the police carried out the checking and the train was allowed to leave at around 7.52 am. The call turned out to be a hoax,” said a railway spokesperson.
“We often receive such hoax calls. Proper action is taken against the callers,” the spokesperson added.
Railway officials said that they had also roped in a bomb disposal squad for the checking, but no suspicious material was found.
In a similar incident on December 25 last year, the Dibrugarh-bound Rajdhani Express was halted for nearly 150 minutes at Sahibabad railway station following a hoax call from Delhi.
Following Sunday’s call, security agencies went on alert due to the gunbattle going on between the security forces and terrorists holed up inside the Pathankot air base. After receiving information of the attack on Saturday, the Ghaziabad police had already stepped up security at vital installations, including the prominent Hindon air base in Ghaziabad.
Apart from the deployment of PCR vans and personnel, the Ghaziabad police had also ordered the Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) to conduct screenings around the air base that has several villages in its vicinity. It also holds vital military assets like the C-30J Super Hercules and C-17 heavy-lift Globemaster aircraft.
“Standard operating procedures are in place and our personnel are on alert,” a senior police official said.