High drama was witnessed for six hours at Sree Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport as security forces swung into action after an abandoned suitcase was spotted in the parking lot on Wednesday. However, later it was found that the bag was left behind by a passenger from Britain.
A lot of security movement was seen as soon as a suitcase was spotted around 7.30 am at the airport. Cops rushed the spot and the anti-sabotage team was also called in. The jawans of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the police cordoned the entire parking area, opposite the terminal building.
Later, sniffer dogs and other equipment used by the forces gave a positive indication that there can be some suspicious material inside the suitcase. The Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) of the state police was also called in from Jalandhar.
As the BDS unit reached around 12.30 pm, a jawan wearing a special suit entered the area where the suitcase was abandoned.
While the security drill was on, the police got an input that a passenger named Inderjit Singh Atwal who landed at the airport early morning had left the bag by mistake in the parking.
Atwal told the police that there were some medicines, a phone and two watches inside the suitcase and that he left it at the site by mistake. Although the police asked him the code to open the suitcase, they took no chances and the BDS took all procedural precautions and the bag was taken away in the specialised chamber.
Thereafter, the suitcase was opened and it had all the contents as told by Atwal and no explosive.
Talking to reporters, police commissioner Nageshwara Rao said, “As soon as the input came, the CISF and police cordoned the area and thorough precautions were taken. The outside area and the parking were vacated. As initially there were signs that the bag may contain some explosive, due precautions were taken and the BDS was called in. But at a time when the BDS was doing its job, an input came that the bag was left behind by a passenger.”
Later, it was learnt that the passenger was a British citizen and had come to India from Birmingham on Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, as the whole process was on for six hours, passengers and visitors were seen anxious. Though there was no panic, vehicular traffic and movement of passenger was diverted by the security forces.