New Delhi: Security agencies at Delhi international airport went into a tizzy after a hoax bomb call was received on Monday, three days ahead of Independence Day, affecting flight operations at Terminal 2 for around 70 minutes, officials said.
"A bomb threat call for Terminal 2 was received by Delhi Police at 8.49 pm on Monday," they said. The departure area of the Indira Gandhi International Airport's (IGIA) Terminal 2 was immediately evacuated and all passengers were moved at Gate no 4 at the departure level, while arriving passengers were on hold inside aircraft, the officials said. "After a detailed search operation for about an hour by the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), it was found to be a hoax," they said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Airport, Sanjay Bhatia said all the stakeholders were immediately informed and alerted. "Terminal 2 was checked thoroughly. A comprehensive search operation was done and nothing suspicious was found. The caller has been identified and he has denied making any such calls. The call has been declared as non-specific," he said. A case under relevant sections has been registered and investigation is underway, he said.
The airport officials said that operational normalcy was restored in departure as well as arrival area of Terminal 2 at 10 pm. On August 8, aviation security regulator BCAS issued an alert asking 19 airports across the country, including Delhi's IGIA, to enhance the existing security measures so that no untoward incident takes place during Independence Day celebrations this year.
The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) alert came three days after the Centre revoked provisions of Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Meanwhile, CISF officials also said a mock exercise of bomb threat was conducted at all the terminals of the Delhi airport between 9 pm and 10.10 pm. During the exercise, the passengers were evacuated from arrival and check-in hall to the assembly area. Anti-Sabotage Check and sweeping operation by airport security agencies and Dog squad was carried out in all the three terminals and cargo area, the CISF officials said.
The movement of on board passengers was also stopped and complete evacuation and search drill was conducted. Other stakeholders also participated in the mock exercise. After completing evacuation and search drill, the movement of passengers was resumed, they said.