Calcutta, Aug. 8: What promised to shake up accumulated fat proved enough for much more. A pair of vibrators shook up several agencies — from the GPO to the Bomb Disposal Squad.
Around 11.20 in the morning, GPO employees entered the parcel room. And ran out, scared at the sight of two shivering gunny bags on the floor. An alarm was raised and a crowd of postal employees gathered, at a distance. As the bags ceased to vibrate, the parcel room wore a deserted look.
A team of officers from Hare Street police station was not too sure about how to handle the crisis. “Keep away, keep away!” they would say to the new onlookers. The policemen were sure the bags from Contai in Midnapore had hi-tech explosives and would not venture any closer than the crowd.
The Lalbazar control room was called and the bomb squad summoned. “We were not bomb experts. Both the bags were vibrating and it was not possible for us to examine them. So, we sought help from our headquarters,” an officer from Hare Street said later.
Members of the squad first entered the room for an inspection. Precautions in place, two masked men brought the vibrating bags outside the room. They took more than five minutes to open them.
Till the cats were out, a crowd waited with baited breath at a distance. The squad had cleared the scene of onlookers but the curiosity was too much to bear for some of the postal employees.
The men in masks pulled something out. It looked like a belt. But it could be strapped with bombs. There was silence. The other bag, too, had the same stuff.
“Someone had sent the belts by post. Both got switched on while the GPO men were storing the parcels. They started vibrating,” said Soumen Mitra, the deputy commissioner of detective department who oversees the bomb squad.
Officers of Hare Street, who stood far away from the room, heaved a sigh of relief. “Thank God, it was not time-bomb,” said one of them.