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Bomb hoax at businessman’s house triggers panic

Special Correspondent
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The package:The bomb squad examining the ‘Holi gift’ left outside businessman J. Basanth Kumar Surana’s residence in Bangalore on Thursday.— Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.
The package:The bomb squad examining the ‘Holi gift’ left outside businessman J. Basanth Kumar Surana’s residence in Bangalore on Thursday.— Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

Panic gripped Indiranagar 12th Main when family members of a granite businessman found a bomb-like object gift-wrapped and left in front of their house.

J. Basanth Kumar Surana was at his residence around noon when he received a call on his mobile from a stranger telling him he had left a “Holi gift” for him at his doorstep and asked him to check it out.

Mr. Surana, a former president of the All India Granite and Stone Association, initially ignored the call but soon became alert when the man called him again asking him if he had opened the gift. He immediately asked the family members to stay inside and call the police even as he went out to inspect.

The Jeevan Bima Nagar police arrived at the spot, cordoned off the area and summoned the bomb disposal and dog squads. Mr. Surana called back the number and found it was a public telephone booth in Dhoopasandra.

After a delicate operation, the police found the package to be an alarm clock wired to four plastic pipes that had been stuffed with sand to look like a bomb.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (East Division) T.G. Krishna Bhat told The Hindu : “Someone was trying to scare Mr. Surana and his family for personal gains.”

Mr. Surana said he suspects the prank to be the fallout of a dispute over a piece of land on which his factory was built at Bommasandra. He said a fortnight ago, he received a call from someone claiming to be an Income Tax officer asking him to come to the IT Office on Queen’s Road. But later, he found that call also came from a public booth.

Mr. Surana also criticised the delay in arrival of the bomb squad, but DCP Bhat blamed the traffic for the delay. The Indiranagar police are investigating.

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