Bengaluru: Close on the heels of a threat letter that was found on a Air-Asia domestic flight in the Kempegowda International Airport, an unclaimed suitcase that was found near the entrance of an administrative block inside the airport premise set off panic among airport staff and passengers on Friday.
The unclaimed baggage - a black suitcase along with a plastic bag - was found abandoned at the administrative block (Alpha-3) by CISF personnel during routine checks at around 6:30 pm. In turn, they alerted airport authorities, who called in the local police, the Bomb Detection & Disposal Squad (BDDS) and the dog squad.
The entire area was cordoned off and the administrative building block was evacuated, after which an alert was sounded. There was no knock-on effect on the operations at the airport as the Alpha-3 block is at a distance from the passenger bay area and the airport itself.
Local police and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) oversaw the anti-sabotage tasks carried out by the BDDS, and the dog squad who examined the contents of the bag and concluded that the suitcase was empty.
Police are examining the CCTV footage to ascertain who had left the suitcase and check whether it was abandoned with malicious intent, to check the airport's preparedness in case there was a threat or whether the bag was abandoned by a passenger before entering the airport, a senior police officer hinted.
P.S. Harsha, Deputy Commissioner of Police, (North East) confirmed the incident adding that there was no cause for concern and all operations at the airport continued normally without getting affected as usual.
Meanwhile, a builder and a businessman identified as Sathish was detained by the airport security staff for carrying a firearm with him while he was seeing off his friend at the airport at around the same time when the “suitcase” created panic at the airport. The Central Industrial Security Staff (CISF) detained him for a short while and asked him to produce the licence and documents for his gun. He was later let off after he produced the documents and claimed that there was threat for his life and hence he carried a gun for safety. This incident too spread panic among co-passengers at that bay.