Hoaxers stretching security apparatus thin


Cops, canines, ambulances, fire vehicles... and of course, the accompanying commotion. Every time someone makes a hoax call, we will see a repeat of this. There will be a huge build-up, with the entire police force on their toes and summoning all machinery at their disposal.
The incidents at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) on Tuesday and Wednesday are a case in point and perfect example of just how manpower and man hour wasting and psychologically crippling hoax calls have become for the city's security apparatus.
On Tuesday, January 26, more than 100 Railway Protection Force and railway police personnel, four canines, three bomb-disposal units scoured the CST-Gondia Vidarbha Express after a man called in twice – at 5:48pm and 5:07pm – on the RPF control room number, threatening to blow up the train.
The railway authorities kept fire-tending vehicles and ambulances on standby and also asked authorities at the St George hospital nearby to keep four rooms vacant in case of an emergency. Officials agreed that multiple intelligence alerts about terror attacks in the run-up to Republic Day had made the police more edgy than usual.
Speaking to dna, D Kanakratnam, additional director-general (railway police) agreed that the arrangements were unprecedented for a hoax call. "It being Republic Day and the fact that no hoax call can ever be taken lightly, we summoned all the resources at disposal," said Kanakratnam.
According to officials on the spot, an RPF team comprising of 40 constables and three officers, a railway police team of 40 constables and three officers, four sniffer dogs, three bomb detection and disposal (BDDS) units were deployed to thoroughly check the train which was scheduled to depart from CST at 7:10pm. It finally left at 7:25pm after the top officials on the spot, led by Kanakratnam, gave the security clearance. Officials said the mobile number's antecedents have been traced to Kalyan station and further inquiries are on.
The drama was played out once again on Wednesday when the railway police's Wadibunder control room received a call at around 12:45pm, threatening to blow up CST station. This time, 45 railway personnel, including five officers, and an RPF team of 44 personnel, including four officers, was pressed in to mission. Four canines, two each from RPF and BDDS, were also used. The call was later traced to a public call office (PCO) in Mahim. Police teams rushed to the place and took into custody Imran Sheikh, a 19-year-old Mahim resident.
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"Checking a station is even tougher than checking a train. And CST is huge with so many corners, corridors and crowd. Apart from the physical hardship to the cops and canines, it also psychologically lowers the preparedness of the security apparatus as there is a chance that someone might presume, even without customary checking, that it is a hoax," said an officer involved in the search operations.

Source http://www.dnaindia.com/node/2170952

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