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India temporarily shuts down Taj Mahal due to bomb threat

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The Taj Mahal in Uttar Pradesh’s Agra  and tourists were evacuated after a bomb scare call triggered panic on Thursday morning, 4 March.

The Uttar Pradesh Police received a call about some explosive device placed at the iconic 17th-century monument. The call was reportedly made to the UP police helpline.

However, the call later turned out to be a hoax, and the entry to tourists resumed after 11 am, NDTV reported.

An unidentified person called the 112 emergency response number of the UP 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 CISF.

A senior police officer said that no bomb had been found and that efforts were on to trace the caller.

“This morning, an unknown person called on Uttar Pradesh 112 and said there will be a bomb blast at the Taj Mahal, Agra inspector general Satish Ganesh said.

“Immediately, as per the standard operating procedure, 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 team of Agra Police and the central industrial security force personnel and a bomb disposal squad was on the spot.

“I’d like to assure everyone that 99% it is a hoax call, but we are following the drill,” Ganesh said.

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 17 March due to the pandemic.

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