T.S. Shankar and L. Srikrishna
CHENNAI: The Cyber wing of the police began probing the Monday night's bomb threat that delayed the departure of President A.P.J.Abdul Kalam's special aircraft by over two hours.
According to police and airport sources, the caller claimed that a bomb would go off in the Governor's flight. The Governor had no travel plans, but taking the threat seriously, security agencies searched the special aircraft, Commissioner of Police Letika Saran told reporters on Tuesday. The caller spoke in Tamil and had contacted the Traffic Control Room (South) to convey the threat. The controller room's caller ID device could not identify the number, the Commissioner said.
An anti-sabotage team and bomb detection and disposal squad with sniffer dogs searched the Kamaraj domestic terminal thoroughly. Director-General of Police D. Mukerjee and Ms. Saran oversaw the drill. Only after getting security clearance, the VVIP Boeing 737 left with the presidential entourage at 1.58 a.m.
The sources said the global alert and the recent incidents at the London airport made the security agencies wary. The problem was compounded by the President meeting many visitors at the lounge from 10-15 p.m. He even asked the Governor S.S. Barnala and the State Minister to leave as he had several personal appointments.