The Chandigarh police evacuated people from the Elante mall on Monday afternoon after they received a call claiming that a bomb may have been planted on the premises, a senior police official said.
Local police units, anti-sabotage check team along with bomb disposal squad carried out searches in the mall, which was teeming with people on account of Eid holiday, he said.
Panic gripped the people and many started rushing out of the premises leading to chaos for a while after mall authorities and police used loudspeakers to ask them to leave the shopping complex.
"Chandigarh Police received a call that a bomb could have been placed in the Elante Mall premises," Deputy Superintendent of Police (East) Dilsher Singh said.
He said the police swiftly started evacuating the mall.
"Chandigarh police's bomb disposal team, anti-sabotage check team, Operations cell, Crime Branch and local police units were carrying out coordinated search of the mall," he said.
We haven't found any explosive in the mall so far. However, a thorough search was going on. We are also trying to trace the person who made the call, the DSP told PTI.
Besides the mall, the adjoining buildings too were being searched.
Authorities have been on high alert across the country ahead of Independence Day and in view of developments related to Jammu and Kashmir.
"Initially, I thought it was a mock drill by security personnel as Independence Day was near, but soon I realised that something serious had happened. I along with my family members, who had come to watch a movie, rushed out in panic," said Ajay Kumar, a local resident.
Senior police officials reached the site and appealed to people to stay calm.
Elante Mall has more than 220 shops with a mix of domestic and international brands, besides restaurants.