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Hoax SMS 'warning' puts Pune police in a spot

July 28, 2008 11:58 IST

A hoax SMS circulating in Pune put the city police in a spot on Sunday as it 'warned' people to keep away from crowded and busy areas following the serial bomb blasts in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru.

The message, which asked receivers to forward it to as many people as possible, said, "16 blasts in Ahmedabad [Images]. Don't go to central areas like FC road, MG road, Appa Balwant Chowk and Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati Mandir - warning issued by Pune police."

The Dagdusheth Ganesh temple in the heart of the city always attracts a large number of devotees.

Anxious people, including school going children, kept forwarding the SMS the whole day, causing a scare in all parts of the city.

As many people called up the police control room to ask about the 'warning', senior police officials realised the unwarranted panic it had created in the absence of any official communication.

A police spokesman issued a statement, which was also aired on local radio stations last evening, describing the SMS as a hoax by miscreants and asking people not to pay heed to rumours.

The police said the authorities had taken necessary measures by stepping up vigil at sensitive spots in the city and there was no cause for panic.

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