A choked Delhi High Court parking today led to a situation where emergency and quick response vehicles of security agencies could not enter the premises after the police received an anonymous bomb threat call, which later turned out to be a hoax. The call was received by the control room from a man who claimed to have planted bombs inside the complex, police said, leading to a frenzied search in the court which has earlier experienced two bomb blasts. The police traced the call to northeast Delhi’s Nand Nagri, but the address of the caller was found to be Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh. However, the phone was switched off, they said. His family told the team, which visited them in Baghpat, that he had left home a few months back and they were not aware of his whereabouts. They also said that he was addicted to liquor, the police said. The court was put on high alert as the police and other emergency security teams reached the spot. But fire tenders, ambulances, SWAT vehicles of Delhi Police as well as the Bomb Disposal Squad vehicles were unable to enter the High Court precincts from the main gate (Gate No 7) due to a mismanaged parking lot meant for lawyers.
A high-level security meeting was held in the afternoon to deal with the situation that was witnessed during the day, when emergency vehicles could not enter the complex due to the parking spaces being clogged by the cars of lawyers. Sources close to the secretariat of Acting Chief Justice (ACJ) Gita Mittal told PTI that the meeting was attended by the ACJ, two senior HC judges, Special Commissioner Law and Order (South) P Kamraj and Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) President Kirti Uppal. Soon after the call was received around 11 AM, Delhi Police Commandos of the Quick Reaction Team were instantly deployed at Gate-5 of the High Court along with the Bomb Disposal Squad and fire tender vehicles. The bomb squad was alerted and the entire court complex was thoroughly searched. However, the call was found to be a hoax, they said. Intensive search was carried out and sniffer dogs deployed. The police are on the lookout for the caller who switched off the phone.
Senior police officials, including the ACP, were in the high court and held a meeting with the HC Registrar General D K Sharma in this regard, court sources said. DHCBA Ex-officio Abhijat confirmed that the police had received such a call. “The police has received a call and search is going on. However work and court proceedings have not been affected,” he said. During the search operation, policemen were seen frisking the visitors and asking them to produce their identity cards. The court complex has not been locked down and vehicles, visitors and lawyers were allowed to enter and exit the premises after a thorough scrutiny. On September 7, 2011, a powerful bomb blast outside Gate No. 5 of the Delhi High Court had claimed 17 lives and left 76 persons injured. Prior to that, a low-intensity blast had occurred at the High Court outside Gate No. 7 on May 25, 2011 but no casualty was reported.