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IndiaBomb threat to over 130 schools in Delhi-NCR sparks massive scare

Bomb threat to over 130 schools in Delhi-NCR sparks massive scare


New Delhi, May 1: In a bomb scare of unprecedented scale, over 130 schools in Delhi-NCR received an identical threat email on Wednesday claiming that explosives had been planted on their premises, triggering massive evacuations and searches as panic-stricken parents rushed to pick up their children. “Nothing objectionable” was found during searches by authorities which later declared it a hoax.

Officials said that the initial probe suspected a “deeper conspiracy” by a terror group during the Lok Sabha elections, adding that there is suspicion that the threat mail was sent by an ISIS module.

The Delhi Police's anti-terror unit special cell has traced the domain of emails to Russia and it is suspected to have been formed with the help of the dark web – an encrypted online content that allows individuals to hide their identity and location from others.

The Investigation Agency may also take up the probe since the role of a terror group is suspected and the “conspiracy” angle may lead to a pan- investigation, an official said.

Law enforcement authorities went into a tizzy as police and fire services started receiving a flurry of calls from schools at 6 am on Wednesday.

Delhi Public School (Mathura Road), DPS (Saket), Sanskriti School, Amity School (Saket), DAV (Model Town), DPS (Dwarka) and St. Mary School (Mayur Vihar) were among the institutions that received the threat email on Wednesday.

A senior Noida Police official said that the email threat was received in seven schools in the satellite city.

It was only an hour or so since parents had dropped off their children when they received messages from the school authorities informing them about an e-mail threatening the safety and security of the students.

Parents rushed to pick up their children and school authorities scampered to bring the students to safety, moving them outside the buildings, while police personnel with sniffer dogs sanitised the premises.

With over 130 schools receiving the bomb threat via email, Delhi Police faced a daunting task as it rushed its dog and bomb squads from one school to another and there was no time to be wasted. The city police went into an overdrive and the situation lasted till evening.

Police said that the number of schools that received the threat may go up as they were compiling the list.

According to a police officer, the email ID from which the threat was sent is ‘‘. Sawarim is an Arabic word extensively used by the terror outfit Islamic State (IS) in their propaganda over the past several years, the official said.

“Kill them wherever you meet and drive them out of the places from which they drove you. There are many explosive devices in the school…,” reads the identical email sent to all schools.

The officer said that the email also contained “aayate (verses) of the holy Quran”.

“The main agenda of sending such threat emails in bulk is to create panic and wage a cyber war by some terror group,” an officer, who did not wish to be named, said.

A case has been registered under relevant sections of law for offences like conspiracy and threat by the Special Cell and a dedicated team formed to conduct the investigation, an official said.

Security has been stepped up at all metro and railway stations, bus stands and markets in the national capital.

Lt Governor VK Saxena said that Delhi Police has traced the origin of the threat emails. He assured that the culprits would be given strict punishment.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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