For the second time in two days, a balloon caused a security scare in the country.
On Wednesday, a balloon was spotted near Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport, reports CNN-IBN. The balloon was then seen moving towards Aya Nagar Air Force Station. Station guards spotted it at 3:15 pm. Gurgaon Police said that the balloon was red and white in colour and about 1 metre in diameter.
However, Delhi Police later confirmed that the balloon had been launched by the Meteorological Department and there was no need for panic.
@ndtv the so called suspicious baloon is of the Met Department. All safe. Pl do not panic.
— Delhi Police (@DelhiPolice) January 27, 2016
The balloon initially caused panic because on Tuesday, a Sukhoi 30 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force shot down an "unidentified" balloon shaped object in Barmer district of Rajasthan after the IAF radar picked it, setting off an alarm.
The incident happened in Barmer, nearly 500 km from Rajasthan capital Jaipur, where some villagers have reported an incident of certain metal pieces falling down from the sky. IAF officials said the object was flying in from the western sector.
The Ministry of Defence later issued a statement saying the balloon was about three meters diameter. Due to heightened security alert — Tuesday being Republic Day — the balloon was shot down as it would have been carrying an unknown payload. However, on analysis of the debris it was established that there was no dangerous payload.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was quoted by ABP News as saying that his ministry has written to MEA to take up the matter with Pakistan. "Though it had no payload, it could have been set to test our security and gauge our response time," he said.
In May 2015, gas-filled balloons had caused a security scare in Mumbai when they were spotted over the international airport. Investigators later found out that the balloons had been released by an event management company as a promotional initiative for its client during a cricket match at Kalina cricket ground.
With inputs from PTI