Bomb hoax creates panic in apex court

Kathmandu, November 21

Two calls threatening blasts created panic on the premises of the Supreme Court and led to closure of the court’s business for the day.

The threats received around 12:15pm and 12:22pm prompted swift evacuation of the apex court staff, including justices, lawyers and service seekers.

An employee of the SC told THT that two callers, who claimed to be cadres of Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal, called in quick succession on two phone numbers of the SC, including one toll free number installed in the chief justice’s secretariat, and told receivers that they had mistakenly planted three bombs on the court premises which would go off at 12:30pm.

“We informed the SC security chief who told us to evacuate the court premises,” the court employee said. “The scene at the court today was reminiscent of the 2015 earthquake. Everybody was running for safety.  Security personnel went to all floors of the court blowing whistles to warn court officials of an impending emergency situation telling them to rush out of their chambers,” the employee added. He said panic spread in the court, as officials had less than 10 minutes to evacuate. “But within seven to eight minutes we could evacuate staff,” the employee added.

Superintendent of Police Ram Dutta Joshi, spokesperson for Metropolitan Police Range, said the threats proved to be hoax. He added the calls were made from two landlines in Kathmandu and the police were investigating the matter.

The SC had listed 343 cases in its cause list today and it had to postpone the hearings of 77 cases due to blast threat. Many people who wanted to file cases at the SC could not do so as the court’s business was closed for the day after around 12:30pm.

The court had adjudicated five cases before it closed its business.

According to court officials, the first caller called the toll free number installed at the chief justice’s secretariat and the second caller called the SC spokesperson’s number.

SC Spokesperson Narayan Prasad Panthi said chiefs of three security agencies -- Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Department -- and the home secretary came to the SC to enquire about the incident.

“Security of court employees and service seekers is paramount. So we decided to immediately evacuate the building,” Panthi told THT.

Court officials later used public address system to inform service seekers that the court proceedings were being postponed due to extraordinary situation and those who were supposed to get court appearance date today could do so tomorrow.

Bomb disposal units and sniffer dogs were mobilised on the court premises but they did not find anything suspicious.

Bomb threat halts SC proceedings

KATHMANDU: The Supreme Court halted all the day's activities on Tuesday after an unidentified person threatened to explode a bomb on the premises of apex court.

According to police, the bomb disposal squad of Nepal Army has already reached the SC after they received the information about the bomb threat.

It has been learned that an unidentified caller had threatened an official about the bombs planted on the premises.

All the daily activities of the Court have been affected following the threat. All SC justices and staff have been evacuated to safe place.

Meanwhile, the army squad is looking into the case.