Vigilance is the need of the hour

Vigilance is the need of the hour

Being twin cities, anything that happens in Mumbai affects Thane too. The recent spate of bombs blasts in Mumbai is not exception. Residents of Thane seem to be aware of the implications of a terrorist act and have become more vigilant, as this incident proves.

Last Saturday, just a day prior to Ganesh Chaturthi, an alert resident acted most responsibly as he sounded the warning bells on spotting a dubious-looking bundle. It was around 8 pm and PS Gogate, an advocate who lives in one of the narrow by-lanes of Brahman Society, was returning home from the market with his family and friends. He caught sight of a neatly wrapped package lying on one side of the lane, resting against one of the walls, giving the impression that it’s been deliberately kept that way. Suspecting that it could be a bomb, Gogate acted on his impulse and immediately called the Naupada police station. Inspector Pandey, who was on duty at that time, reacted in the most cooperative manner. He asked Gogate to relax and assured him of swift action.

Saturday was particularly draining for the police department and the police dog. Several VIP politicians were in the city and the police dog had been through a tiring schedule, having had to sniff all the places thoroughly to rule out the possibility of a bomb in all the locations where the dignitaries were to visit. The police force too had been kept busy, what with all the security bandobast for VIPs and the Ganesh festival just beginning the next day.

In spite of these constraints, the inspector arrived at the spot within minutes. He was accompanied by two constables and a sniffer dog and the first thing he did was to calm down the people gathered there. He then sealed off the lane and got his tired dog’s sniffing act going. After a few minutes, the inspector concluded that package did not contain anything that could be potentially explosive. When the box was unwrapped, it simply contained a few small pieces of thermacol sheets, probably intended for use in Ganpati Decoration. As everybody heaved a sigh of relief, Gogate felt a little guilty at having summoned the police for what turned out to be a hoax call. But he was comforted by Inspector Pandey who urged everyone present to act exactly the way Gogate had done. He said that although this time it wasn’t a bomb, on another occasion it could be – by calling the police you could avert a disaster in the making.

A hoax bomb scare is a potent havoc-creating tool that is often be used by miscreants to create panic. And sometimes panic leads to rumours which can blow out of proportions and create undesirable circumstances. As citizens, it is our collective responsibility to avoid such situations by not throwing (or leaving) packages that can be misconstrued to be a bomb. All the same, if anyone of us notices a suspicious-looking parcel, we must heed the advice of Inspector Pandey and promptly call the police. Never, repeat never attempt to open and touch such a parcel or box as it could be programmed to blow up on a simple touch and that could endanger many lives.

Vigilance is no more the responsibility of only the police and security forces. As terrorist activities intensify, it is one quality that all of will do well to inculcate within ourselves – lest it becomes a steep liability.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *