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A bank branch in Wardha in Maharashtra was the scene of an intense drama after a man walked in masked and handed over a piece of paper to a staffer informing that he intended to set off a bomb he was carrying if payment of Rs 55 lakh was not made in 15 minutes, police said on Saturday.

The incident happened in a bank in Sevagram on Friday afternoon, an official said, adding that the letter claimed the "suicide bomber" was suffering from a terminal ailment and needed the money to pay exorbitant medical bills.

"He told the bank staffers that he had nothing to lose by setting off the bomb. The bank is situated just opposite our police station and the staffers managed to alert us even as the accused was going about threatening them," he said.

The man was nabbed and a fake bomb comprising a digital watch and six pipes filled with plaster of Paris wired together, a knife and an air pistol were recovered, the official said.

"He has been identified as Yogesh Kubade, who runs a cyber cafe. He was trying to pull off this stunt to repay loans, and ordered the items to create his fake bomb online," said Sub Inspector Ganesh Saykar.

A case was registered a further probe was underway, the Sevagram police station official informed.

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