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Terror stalked President Patil in Pune?

October 14, 2008 13:49 IST

In an alarming disclosure, police on Tuesday said they intercepted a car displaying fake national emblem, moving along the route that President Pratibha Patil [Images] was to take in Pune on Saturday night.

The two suspects in the vehicle, however, had managed to flee, they said.

An E-mail threat by an unidentified person had been received by the Rashtrapati Bhavan [Images] on the same day, saying that the President would be targeted during her four-day Pune district tour by attackers who could come under 'disguise'.

"A Maruti [Get Quote] Swift car in which two persons, including a woman, were seated was spotted near the University of Pune entrance, a little away from Raj Bhavan, where the President was returning for the night halt after addressing a function in the city to mark diamond jubilee of Marathi weekly Sadhana," Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Manoj Patil told PTI.

"Since Maruti Swift is not normally associated with government fleet of cars, the traffic inspector posted along the route of the Presidential convoy became suspicious when he saw the car, which carried the national emblem and the writing 'Government of India'," he said.

The car was intercepted around 45 minutes before the Presidential convoy passed through the route on Saturday night. The vehicle was immediately taken over by the police, who escorted it to the commissioner's office premises.

The woman suspect, however, made the car halt midway on a pretext and both of them gave police the slip. The number plate on the car read DL-9C-l- 2140.  

"We have identified the male suspect in the car and are confident of nabbing him," the top official said.

According to sources, police were probing possible link between the E-mail threat and the interception of the car on the same day. The President, who arrived in the city on October 10, attended a series of functions at Pune district, including inauguration of the 3rd Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) on Sunday, amid massive security cover.




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