Police conducted a massive search at the India Gate at New Delhi on Sunday after receiving an alert about a bomb planted at the monument while a youth was arrested for allegedly triggering hoax bomb scares.
The search at India Gate began at around 10 am, minutes after Delhi Police were informed about the possibility of explosives being planted at the war memorial by their Mumbai counterparts on the basis of a phone call received by them. At the time, a large number of Sunday revellers were present at the monument.
Bomb disposal squads and sniffer dogs were rushed to the spot as police evacuated the India Gate premises and cordoned off the area. Fire fighters and ambulances were kept on stand-by and traffic on the busy strech was regulated during the search, which turned out to be futile.
"We have not found any explosives. But a strict vigil and tight security in the area will continue," Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi district) Anand Mohan told PTI.
He said police in Mumbai and Delhi were working to trace the origin of the call and whereabouts of the caller who claimed there would be an explosion at the landmark at around noon.
Additional forces were deployed in the area and entry to the monument was restricted after the alert. Police had searched India Gate on Saturday too after they received a hoax call about a bomb being placed at the monument.
Meanwhile, 18-year-old Shadaab was arrested in northeast Delhi in the wee hours on Sunday for allegedly making phone calls about explosives being planted at various places in the capital. A series of hoax bomb threats, including one at the Akshardham Temple, and an email threatening to carry out an attack at the Red Fort had kept the police on their toes for the last two days after Tuesday's serial blasts in Mumbai.
Shadaab, a tailor by profession, allegedly made three phone calls just past midnight on Thursday from a mobile phone, claiming that bombs had been planted at the Akshardam Temple, Gurdwara Sis Ganj and PVR Plaza multiplex at Connaught Place.
"He had found the mobile phone at a bus stop in Welcome area. He then made these calls thinking that he would never be caught. The phone belonged to a person living in Faridabad," Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Madhup Tiwari said.
Shadaab has been charged under sections 153A and 153B (acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony and national integration), 182 (false information with intent to cause public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 505 (statements conducting to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.
Police are yet to trace the person who made the hoax call about a bomb at India Gate on Saturday.