‘Bomb-like devices’ put cops on toes in Noida, Ghaziabad
Police in the twin cities of Noida and Ghaziabad have gone on a high alert after three ‘bomb-like devices’ were recovered in the past couple of days.
Police said all the three recoveries were made from both the districts after the police control room was tipped off by residents. Probes have been launched in all the three cases.
On Friday, a bomb-like device created panic in Noida’s Sector 63 after which the area was cordoned off and traffic diverted. The incident was reported around 7.15am, when a call was made to the police helpline by an auto-rickshaw driver about the device.
“We activated the necessary protocols in place as soon as the call came in. The area was cordoned off and traffic was diverted. Teams from the bomb disposal squad and sniffer dog units were rushed to the spot,” said Alok Singh, commissioner of police (CP).
The CP said that no explosives or detonator was found in the device, which was made to look like a bomb . A forensic team also examined it before the device was taken away for further examination. The device was found on the divider of the road going from SJM hospital to Chhajarsi colon.
The cops said that the device in question had been fashioned from two painted plastic bottles which contained water and a digital watch had been strapped on o make it seem like a timer.
Locals said that the device caused panic in the area in the morning.
“We realized that something was going on when all of a sudden there were many police vehicles and then someone said that a bomb has been found. It was scary. Traffic in the area was stopped, and people were being asked to stay away from the divider,” said Mohanti Lal, a tea vendor in the nearby Chhajarsi village.
A senior police officer from Noida said that eyewitnesses and locals in the area are being questioned and there are a few leads that are being worked on. Police suspect that this was a prank and have denied any connection to threats related to Republic Day.
An FIR was registered at the Phase 3 police station against unknown suspects under section 290 (public nuisance) of the Indian Penal Code and section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment act based on suo motu cognizance taken by the Noida police.
The area is adjacent to Delhi Meerut Expressway and is located a few kilometres away from the UP-Gate site where thousands of farmers are camping as part of their demands for repeal of the three farm laws.
Meanwhile another incident was reported from near the Delhi Meerut Road in Ghaziabad where a similar crude ‘bomb-like’ device was found by the police on January 20 and an FIR was registered in this connection at Madhuban Bapudham police station in Ghaziabad.
The FIR states that the device was a 5 kilogram LPG cylinder which was covered with a black sheet of paper and a “watch-like” timer attached to it.
Further, the cops also found a letter attached to the cylinder which had three demands written on it – capital punishment for a politician, penalty of ₹7 crore on seven people and to flash a signal if the “bomb” was discovered.
The cops said that it was a prank played by some unidentified person and they are investigating the matter. The site was an empty plot near “Hum Tum” hotels adjacent to Delhi Meerut Road.
It is also expected that hundreds of farmers in tractors will also arrive from the same route for their proposed tractor parade before January 26.
“We are taking every precaution following the discovery of the said device and all security arrangements are in place, besides routine checks and patrolling. The local intelligence unit is also keeping an eye and also part of the investigation,” said Awaneesh Kumar, circle officer (city 2) at Ghaziabad.
On Thursday, a prank call had been made to Kailash hospital, sector 27 in Noida, about the presence of a bomb in the building, which was later found to be hoax.
No arrests have been made in any of the cases so far.