It was a terrifying scene at Nizamuddin railway station in New Delhi as passengers were asked to evacuate the place because serial bomb blasts had been reported from Gate No. 1. One person had been purportedly killed and six injured in the blasts. Horror-stuck passengers did as they were told but, later, discovered that it was mock bomb blast drill, reports Times of India.
The drill was conducted to ensure that their is coordination between Delhi Police and central forces, and to check their efficiency in a such situations. The drill was conducted in the wake of the Gurdaspur attack last week. DCP(Railways) Sanjay Bhatia, said:
“We’ve been training our men to deal with contingencies such as attacks in crowded railway stations. The drills were conducted to test their efficiency. Also, it was a security measure taken ahead of Independence Day.”
It was around 12.30 pm yesterday when policemen were told that a few passengers were taken hostage by a group of armed militants who had entered the station. The area was immediately cordoned off. Police began to escort passengers out of the area.
To make it appear real, three simulated mock blasts were carried out with help of fireworks. Soon after, commandos from Railway Protection Special Forces took their positions while teams from civil defence, CATS and Delhi Police worked to remove ‘injured’ from the scene.
Firefighters were also called in to help douse flames. The Delhi Police Special Weapons And Tactics team arrived in an armoured vehicle.
The hostages were ‘identified’ and the team took calculated shots to neutralize the ‘terrorists’. The whole operation was completed within 15 minutes.
Shocked passengers were told about the drill once they were outside the station. Samuel George, a tourist returning from Agra, said:
“I actually thought it was a terrorist attack. I tried to take cover behind a pillar on the platform while I was being guided out by a cop. I never let my guard down.”
While preparedness is always good in the light of frequent terror attacks, extra precaution must be taken while conducting a drill of such a level. The slightest negligence could have caused a stampede, since Nizamuddin is one of the busiest railway stations of the country.