Thiruvananthapuram: An anonymous person called the city police control room around 6 p.m. on Tuesday and threatened that bombs had been planted at different locations in the crowded Chala market. The police checked the commercial area and called it a hoax.
Investigators traced the call to a coin-operated public pay-phone booth near the Kerala State Road Transport Corporations city depot, near East Fort.
The booth owner, one Rajeev, told the police that the caller was a young man dressed in a pale-white shirt and dark pants. The police said Rajeev could not give anymore information about the caller.
The city police went into overdrive following the threat. Fire and Rescue Service units and ambulances were put on the standby. Important government hospitals were asked to prepare for admission of mass casualties. Armed striker units of the police were put on alert for rapid deployment.
The police deployed several units of its Bomb Disposal and Detection Squad. Assisted by sniffer dogs and bomb-detection equipment, the squads scanned the market, including shops and parked vehicles, for explosives. They inspected cargo lorries and warehouses.