Bomb squad descends on Tihar; creates minor panic

People waiting outside Tihar Jail in Delhi for Anna Hazare to emerge were surprised and a little alarmed when bomb disposal teams and dog squads conducted an unexpected check outside the jail early this morning, soon after the Hazare team announced the developments that have led to the 73-year-old being given permission to conduct his public fast over corruption at Ramlila Maidan.

The teams descended on the jail, where hundreds of Hazare supporters have been encamped since Hazare's arrest on Tuesday, at around 3:30 am and conducted a thorough check and sanitised the area.

Sniffer dogs also conducted searches along with members of the bomb disposal squad.

As the area outside the jail was littered with plastic bags and food pouches, the security personnel were seen minutely checking each and every piece of carelessly-thrown waste to ensure that no dangerous object was hidden beneath.

A member of the bomb disposal squad said they were there on orders to ensure that no objects were planted in the area to create terror when Hazare comes out of the prison. (See: Hazare to leave jail as government drops all conditions).

Hazare had refused to come out of jail after being released from detention yesterday, demanding that he be allowed to continue with his protest in the capital without any conditions.

After a late night meeting with Delhi Police Commissioner B K Gupta, the Hazare team said the Gandhian decided to accept the city police's offer of permitting him to stage his protest for 15 days, which could be extended later.