A hoax call to authorities about a potential bomb blast triggered mild tension in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district after an unidentified man claimed that bombs would explode within a few hours at the railway stations of Puttur, Tirupati and Chittoor.
While some media reports suggest that he called railway officials at Puttur, others said that he dialed ‘100’, the centralized contact number for the police.
Authorities at the Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF) were immediately alerted along with the district police and sniffer dogs and even bomb squads were rushed to the three locations. After conducting a search for around two to three hours, officials realised that it could be a hoax call.
“We traced the number from which the call was made and tracked the location of the number. It was a fake call made by 34-year-old J Lokesh, a native of Thoruru village in Puttur mandal in the district. He works as a data entry operator at a private bank. We learnt from his relatives that he was mentally unsound and was disturbed for a while, as his marriage was cancelled recently,” Puttur urban Circle Inspector Yellam Raju was quoted as saying.
The accused has been taken into custody and is being questioned. However, it is unclear as to what action will be taken against him. Railway officials said that there was no disturbance in the schedules of the trains due to the incident.
In October last year, panic gripped passengers on board the Visakha Express which was headed to Secunderabad after two travelers entered into a heated argument and one of them claimed that there was a bomb on board the train. Following this, concerned passengers pulled the chain and stopped the train at Rajahmundry, where a thorough check was conducted for more than an hour, after which it was concluded that it was a hoax.