By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: Panic gripped the city on Friday when an unclaimed baggage, found lying near a book store in Keating Road area near Police Bazar, triggered a bomb scare among residents and owners of commercial establishments. The scare later turned out a hoax.
The abandoned suitcase was first noticed by the owner of the book store while he was opening his shop around midday. Sensing trouble, the shop owner immediately alerted the police.
Police immediately cordoned off the area while the bomb squad of the State Police rushed to the spot to check the baggage.
Commercial establishments in the area downed their shutters fearing a blast. The bomb squad took the unclaimed suitcase to Polo (near the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium) where they opened the suitcase and checked the contents of the baggage.
Superintendent of Police (City) M Kharkrang, later, confirmed that the suitcase only contained clothing and an identity card belonging to a personnel of the Assam Regimental Centre.
Kharkrang added that army officials from the Assam Regimental Centre have claimed the abandoned suitcase.
“The Army authorities have confirmed that the personnel who left the suitcase by mistake was on leave and could not personally claim the baggage,” Kharkrang added while giving details to reporters later on.
Shop owners and residents of the area, who were witness to the incident on Friday, told this scribe that the fear psychosis among the people was natural since the GNLA had, earlier, threatened to trigger blasts in commercial hubs of the city like Police Bazaar and Iewduh (Bara Bazar) and other important areas.