Better arrive early at Patna railway station, because chances are you are going to be frisked by the police, on high alert because of a threatening SMS message. Prank or terror threat? Nobody can take chances.
” Aaj Patna Junction ko uda denge. Rok sako to rok lo (I will blow up Patna Junction. Prevent it, if you can) – was the message sent Hindi to the superintendent of police (security), launched a thousand Railway cops(figuratively) on Wednesday morning.
Cops deployed at Patna Junction went on high alert, searching trains, frisking passengers and so on. Sniffer dogs and a bomb disposal squad personnel landed on the scene. The passengers were asked to vacate railway platforms temporarily.
Sources said SP (security) Deepak Burnawal received the message from cellphone number 91556 30911 at 6.36 am. Burnawal immediately contacted inspector-general (railways) Amit Kumar, who warned the GRP officers. Patna SP (rail) P.N. Mishra and other senior officers dashed to Patna Junction.
The mobile SIM card used for sending the threat twice, has been traced and police arev trying to nab its owner. “We have taken all precautionary measures. Police are carrying out elaborate checks,” the IG said.
The sources said the man was probably a resident of the Sikarpur area in West Champaran district. “He is working as an agent for a bank at Narkatiaganj. Some local residents identified him with the photograph sent to the local police on WhatsApp,” an investigating officer said.
The photograph was obtained from the cellphone company that issued the SIM. The police aren’t disclosing names yet.
Over a dozen trains, including Bandra-Patna Express, Akal Takht Express, Shramjivi Express, Howrah-Delhi Express among others stationed at Patna Junction were searched by separate police teams. In the process, some trains got delayed by a few minutes. The railway protection force (RPF) officers were also seen carrying out searches at the platforms.
Frisking of passengers and checking of vehicles parked on the station premises that started at 7am was continuing till late in the evening.