New Delhi: Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport was today put on high alert after authorities received a call about a "big balloon" hovering over it.
According to the police, the call centre of the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) received a call about spotting of the big balloon following which the airport was put on alert.
DCP of IGI airport D K Gupta said all security agencies have been informed about the information though police has not spotted the object. "The airport was put on high alert after the DIAL call centre received a call about a big balloon spotted near the airport this evening.
"The call was received around 5 PM and the caller said that the big ballon was heading from the airport to Aya Nagar following which an alert was issued at the IGI and all security agencies have been informed about it," Gupta told PTI.
Gurgaon Police Commissioner Navdeep Singh Virk said the Gurgaon police control room had alerted the Delhi and Faridabad police control rooms of the object.
"At about 3.15 pm today, the patrol guards at Air Force Station located on Gurgaon-Faridabad road reported sighting of an unidentified balloon red and white in colour and about 1 metre in diameter flying between 1-1.5 km high. The balloon was flying towards Aya Nagar in Delhi from the Gurgaon-Faridabad road side. No balloon has been recovered as yet. Further enquiries are in progress," he said.
The purported spotting comes close on the heels of a similar balloon-like object spotted on Republic Day over Rajasthan's Jaisalmer district. According to official sources, a US-made helium-filled balloon was shot down by a Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft over Rajasthan.
Officials did not rule out the possibility of the balloon originating from Pakistan and could have been an attempt to gauge India's response time.
The shiny 3 metres in diametre balloon, with "Happy Birthday" written on it, was flying at a height of about 25,000 feet in Jaisalmer district when it was picked up by the air force radars which were on high alert in view of Republic Day celebrations.
However, no dangerous substance was found from the balloon that was shot down on Tuesday.
(With PTI inputs)