Taj Mahal Bomb Call a Hoax, Caller Seems ‘Mentally Unstable’: Cops
The Taj Mahal was reopened for visitors after “about an hour and 45 minutes.”
The bomb warning, which caused the premises of Agra’s Taj Mahal to be briefly vacated on Thursday, 4 March, was deemed by the police to be a hoax call. The caller was subsequently detained.
The man alleged to have made the call was detained in Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad, and appears to be mental unstable, the police said.
A Satish Ganesh, additional director general (ADG) of police, Agra zone, told news agency PTI:
“Prima facie it seems that he is mentally unstable and is probably under treatment. We are probing why he made such a call.”
As per PTI, the caller has been identified as a Vimal Kumar Singh.
Hindustan Times quoted the police as saying that the caller hails from Kasganj and is presently residing at his maternal grandmother’s home in a village in Firozabad.
Further, ADG Ganesh informed that the Taj Mahal was reopened for visitors after “about an hour and 45 minutes.”
The Phone Call & the Evacuation
Earlier, on Thursday morning, Shiv Ram Yadav, Superintendent of Police (Protocol), Agra, was quoted by ANI as saying, "We had received information from the control room that a man called them up saying that there are discrepancies in military recruitment and he wasn't recruited. (He said) A bomb is kept at Taj Mahal which will explode soon. A security check is being done around Taj Mahal,"
"CISF has been alerted. The man's location was traced to Firozabad. Further investigation is underway," he had added.
According to reports, tourists were asked to leave the premises and the monument was shut.
Security personnel, as per the Hindustan Times, took over the ivory-white marble mausoleum and carried out an extensive search and screening operations.
Meanwhile, the tourists were informed that the Taj Mahal was being shut because of a VVIP visit, in order to prevent panic.
But the security personnel, in their search and screening operations, could not locate any explosives and the mausoleum was re-opened for visitors at 11:15 am, the report added.
In January, four men belonging to a right-wing outfit called Hindu Jagran March were arrested from Agra for unfurling and waving saffron flags at the Taj Mahal after a video showing the same went viral.
The Taj Mahal reopened on 21 September 2020 after an unprecedented closure of six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Former US President Donald Trump on his visit to India, in February 2020, had said that the mausoleum “inspired awe” and is a “testament to the rich and diverse beauty of Indian culture.”
(With inputs from PTI and Hindustan Times.)
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