A team from the National Security Guard (NSG) rushed to the Red Fort on the morning of Friday, May 5, after being informed that a grenade had been found on the premises of the historic structure in New Delhi. The grenade was located and neutralised, and may have been an old ordnance, said a top NSG official.
The grenade had initially been located in a well within the Red Fort premises during a routine security check on Thursday evening. The discovery had sparked fears of a possible terrorist attack, given that not only is the Red Fort one of the most-visited tourist destinations in India, but also that it holds huge historic and national significance: The prime minister unfurls the Tricolour there on August 15 every year on the occasion of Independence Day.
Receiving news of the grenade being found, an NSG team rushed to the spot on Friday morning, as did a police team led by the local deputy commissioner of police. They conducted searches in the area for any other weapons or anything else that was suspicious, but found nothing of significance. The police also cordoned off the area to avoid any untoward incident.
The NSG commandos also took the grenade into their custody and neutralised it. It was on further inspection that it was revealed that the grenade was not a new one. In fact, it was determined to belong to the World War era, meaning it was at least seven decades old!
This is hardly the first time such an incident has taken place at the Red Fort. An Archaeological Survey of India team was conducting a cleaning exercise at the fort this February when they found explosives and live cartridges, again in a well. The NSG had even then rushed to the spot and taken them into custody.
It was revealed later that these could belong to the government, because the Red Fort was used up until 2004 as a place to store explosives and ammunition.