Bomb hoax at Varanasi’s Kashi Vishwanath temple shuts out devotees

The number from which the “warning call” came was that of a boy, who lost his phone the same morning, police said.

lucknow Updated: May 21, 2017 08:57 IST
HT Correpondent
HT Correpondent
Hindustan Times, Varanasi
Varanasi,Bomb hoax,Kashi Vishwanath temple.
Devotees offer prayers at Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi.(PTI File Photo)

An alert was sounded, devotees were shut out and a bomb disposal squad rushed to Varanasi’s famous Kashi Vishwanath temple on Saturday night after a phone call warned of a bomb.

Three rounds of extensive search of the sprawling temple complex, which gets thousands of visitors a day, yielded nothing. The call was a hoax, police said.

At around 9pm, a man called police’s helpline and claimed a bomb was planted near Maa Annapurna’s shrine on the premises of the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

An alert was sounded and senior officers were informed. District magistrate Yogeshwar Ram Mishra and senior superintendent of police Nitin Tiwari rushed to the spot.

Pilgrims were not allowed in the temple for at least one-and-a-half hours. A bomb and a dog squad were called and the premises were checked.

The number from which the “warning call” came was that of a boy, who lost his phone the same morning. The caller would be found and arrested soon, SSP Tiwari said.

Police have asked its personnel deployed in and around the shrine, which is vulnerable to terror attacks because of the sheer number of visitors it gets, to be vigilant.

Varanasi is one of the holiest places for the Hindus, who come for a dip in the Ganges and to pay obeisance to thousands of temples that line the town’s narrow bylanes.

One of the oldest living cities in the world, Varanasi is also the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

First Published: May 21, 2017 08:54 IST