The fact that a sniffer dog, brought to Army Base Hospital in Delhi Cantonment to check the bag, identified one of objects inside the bag as RDX, triggered panic.
The object later turned out to be a bar of soap, which was packed in the bag with a brick, a towel and a woman’s purse.
The call to the security agencies was made after a 69-year-old man informed the Army personnel that two youths handed him the bag at a traffic signal near the hospital. Delhi Police declared the call as a “hoax” after completing all the checks.
Delhi Police PRO Rajan Bhagat said: “The call was a hoax. The bag contained a towel, a purse, a brick and a soap. No case has been registered.”
Police also received similar calls from other parts of the city, informing about “bombs”. The calls were later declared as hoax. The calls informed of “bombs” in Greater Kailash-I, Mangolpuri and a DTC bus.
The first call, which came from the Army unit at 2.30 pm, informed about a suspicious laptop bag that was found on the footpath outside the hostel complex of Army College of Medical Sciences, adjacent to the Army Base Hospital.
Police identified the man who informed the Army about the laptop bag as Om Prakash Makkar, a civil contractor. He told police that he was headed towards Dwarka Expressway in his Toyota Corolla car with a driver. When they stopped at the traffic signal, two men on a moped pulled up next to him. Makkar said his window was open and the pillion rider spoke to him.
The rider, police said, greeted Makkar saying, “Namastey, pehchana mujhe? (Hello, did you recognise me?”). Makkar said “no”. According to police, the rider said it was his birthday and he had a gift for Makkar. He took out a laptop bag and said it contained a laptop and a mobile phone and dumped it in Makkar’s car, before fleeing, police said.
Makkar panicked, and threw the bag on the footpath. He drove ahead and informed an Army personnel and the police were called in. Later, the NSG, a Swat team, local police, special cell, bomb disposal squad of the Army and sniffer dogs were called in.
Even as police were checking the bag found in Delhi Cantonment incident, another caller informed of a suspicious bag lying in Gopinath market. On checking, police found that the bag was stuffed with paper.
At GK-I, police found an abandoned motorcycle that had a leather bag attached to it. Police traced the owner of the motorcycle and did not find anything suspicious in the bag.
At Mangolpuri, a broken speaker was recovered from a black bag. At 6.30 pm, a suspicious bag was found on a DTC bus in Central Delhi’s Scindia House area.
Police said a suspicious suitcase and a laptop bag were found in two separate areas of Daryaganj.