The Taj Mahal complex in Agra was vacated on Thursday morning following a hoax bomb call, officials said.
They said an unidentified person called the 112 emergency response number of the Uttar Pradesh Police at around 9 am and claimed that a bomb was kept inside the monument that is conserved by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and protected by armed personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
The Uttar Pradesh Police immediately informed the CISF personnel, who asked visitors to vacate the premises of the iconic 17th-century monument and launched anti-sabotage checks around 9:15 am.
“Nothing suspicious has been found and the checks are almost done,” a senior CISF officer said in Delhi.
The hoax call has been traced to Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh, another officer said.
“This morning, an unknown person called on UP 112 and said there will be a bomb blast at the Taj Mahal. Immediately, as per SOP, our bomb squad and other teams conducted a thorough search of the premises. So far, our field units haven’t given any information of such an item being found,” A Satish Ganesh, Inspector General, Agra, has said.
“I’d like to assure everyone that 99%, it is a hoax call. But we are following the drill.”
In the past too, an unidentified caller had said there was a bomb at the Taj Mahal. Authorities searched thoroughly for the bomb but it later turned out to be a hoax.
The Taj Mahal was reopened for tourists in September last year with strict Covid-19 safety guidelines after being shut for tourists for more than six months since March 17 due to the pandemic.