Karnataka Police pick up former army official for ‘hoax’ terror threat call
Police traced Swamy Sundar Murthy to his house after the call was made and handed him over to the Bengaluru city policeUpdated: Apr 27, 2019 10:26 IST
Karnataka Police picked up a retired armyman late Friday night after he reportedly called the police control room claiming to have information about possible terror attacks in major cities in the southern and western parts of the country, forcing authorities to issue an alert across seven states and a Union Territory.
Swamy Sundar Murthy, 65, was traced to his house in Avalahalli on the outskirts of the city around 10 pm, hours after he pretended to be a lorry driver heading to Hosur. “We traced the person to his house after the call was made and handed him over to the Bengaluru city police,” said Ram Nivas Sepat, Superintendent of Police (Bengaluru Rural).
Police have not yet disclosed whether Murthy was an officer or of other rank.
A senior police officer said in light of the facts, it was almost certain that the call was a hoax. “However, we could not take any chances and, hence, had to share the information with other states as a precaution,” the officer said.
On Friday Karnataka Director General and Inspector General of Police Neelamani Raju had sent a letter to the DGPs of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Goa and Maharashtra warning them about the information.
In the letter, Raju said: “One person...claiming to be a lorry driver by name Swamy Sundar Murthy who is claiming to be on his way to Hosur (Tamil Nadu) called up control room, Bengaluru city police at 17.35 hours today... He claims to have information to the effect that major cities in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Pondicherry, Goa and Maharashtra will be hit by terror attacks.”
Raju said in the letter that according to Murthy the attacks would be carried out on trains. “He also claimed that there are 19 terrorists present at Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu.”
Security and intelligence agencies are already concerned about the existence of sleeper cells in India with possible links to the group that carried out bombings in Sri Lanka, where 253 people were killed on Sunday during Easter celebrations.