New Delhi: Shoppers at Chandigarh’s Elante Mall were evacuated on Monday after news of a bomb on the premises triggered panic.
Chandigarh Police received information that a bomb was about to explode at the popular shopping mall, which was crowded due to Eid. "Chandigarh Police received a call that a bomb could have been placed in the Elante Mall premises," said Deputy Superintendent of Police (East) Dilsher Singh said, adding that the police swiftly started evacuating the mall.
Local police units, an anti-sabotage check team along with bomb disposal squad carried out searches in the mall and also in adjoining buildings, said Singh.
Panic gripped the people and many started rushing out of the premises, leading to chaos for a while after mall authorities and police used loudspeakers to ask them to leave the shopping complex.
"Chandigarh police's bomb disposal team, anti-sabotage check team, operations cell, Crime Branch and local police units were carrying out coordinated search of the mall," said Singh. "We haven't found any explosive in the mall so far. However, a thorough search was going on. We are also trying to trace the person who made the call."
Authorities have been on high alert across the country ahead of Independence Day and in view of the developments related to Jammu and Kashmir.
"Initially, I thought it was a mock drill by security personnel as Independence Day was near, but soon I realised that something serious had happened. Along with my family members who had come to watch a movie, I rushed out in panic," said Ajay Kumar, a local resident.
Senior police officials reached the site and appealed to people to stay calm.
Elante Mall has more than 220 shops with a mix of domestic and international brands, besides restaurants. It also has an entertainment zone with a multiplex and a food court.
(With inputs from PTI)