It was a case of Chinese whispers.

For referring to Mumbai as bomb six youngsters speaking in Malayalam detained Photo : Joe Ravi, Wikipedia
news Police Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 09:08

For five youngsters from Kerala and one from Lakshadweep, the mistake of referring to the city of Mumbai by its former name landed them in police custody. 

The six youngsters were taken into custody by Mumbai Railway Protection force on Tuesday morning after they referred to ‘Bombay’ as "Bomb"

They had boarded a local train to Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) from Panvel.  While conversing in Malayalam they had referred to Bombay, the city's former name, However, after a co-passenger mistakenly overheard it as ‘bomb’, he informed the RPF at Kurla, when he got down.

Following this 'tip-off', the RPF at CST took them into custody and handed them over to the Vashi GRP, as Panvel comes under the jurisdiction of Varshi GRP.

However, following an inquiry, police said that during the train journey, one of the youngsters got a phone call from his friend asking where he is and he replied 'Bombay' which might have led to the confusion.  

“The group was on their way to Rajapur in Ratnagiri for a 23-day Urdu training. The six planned to stay in a madrassa near JJ hospital. They were to leave the city on Tuesday.” The Hindustan Times quoted Suresh Patil, senior police inspector from Vashi GRP.

The India express quoted Patil saying “Since the person he was talking to could not hear him, one of six boys shouted ‘Bomb-bay’. A commuter who heard ‘bomb’ suspected foul play and informed the Railway Protection Force (RPF).”

Sachin Bhalode, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner (Central Railways) had told media that the youngsters did not know Hindi or English and that they could speak only in Malayalam. He also said that the whole issue was a misunderstanding.

Following an inquiry by the police as well as the Anti-Terrorism Squad, the six youngster were released from custody on Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile, few local media have reported that the youngsters had suspicious texts on their phones and they also have alleged connections to Saudi Arabia. Denying the reports, police stated that there was nothing suspicious.  


Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.