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Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 12:41 UK

India police sue bomb hoax caller

By Narayan Bareth
BBC Hindi service, Jaipur

Using a phone in India (File photo)
The hoax call triggered a massive police operation

Police in the Indian state of Rajasthan have filed a court case seeking $4,000 in compensation from a hoax caller.

In the call in April, Jaipur resident Wahiduddin said the city would witness a series of blasts, it is alleged.

Police say the call forced them to deploy the bomb squad, sniffer dogs, ambulances, doctors and police. The exercise cost 200,000 rupees ($4,000).

It created panic among residents of the city where a series of bomb explosions killed at least 60 people in 2008.

'Personal score'

In the last six months, Jaipur police say they have received 11 hoax calls warning about impending bomb blasts.

Mr Wahiduddin's call warning about bomb blasts in April sent the authorities into overdrive.

Police tracked down the phone number from which the call was made, which led them to Mr Wahiduddin's son in-law, Naushad.

Police say Mr Wahiduddin told them he had used his son in-law's phone because he wanted to settle a personal score with him.

Authorities say no one has the right to create a panic and cause a loss of government money.

''Each such single call involves the bomb disposal squad, sniffer dogs, ambulances, police force and doctors," police inspector Pankaj Kumar Singh said.

Anyone who makes a hoax call will be charged under the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act (Pasa), he said.

"The move is aimed at preventing hoax calls and to stop misuse of government machinery while acting on such calls," a senior officer said.

Officials said those convicted under Pasa could be sent to jail for up to a year.

Police said in future cases they would also sue for intangible damages like causing panic.



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