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Bomb Threat To 200 Delhi Schools: What Really Happened

What first was reported as bomb threats via emails to four-five schools later spiralled to over 200 schools, most of which were in Delhi, while some were also in Noida. Delhi Public School in Dwarka, RK Puram, Noida and Vasant Kunj, Mother Mary's School in East Delhi Mayur Vihar, and Sanskriti School in Chanakyapuri were among the over 200 schools that received bomb threats via email on Wednesday.

PTI
The MHA, Delhi Police later said nothing was found after thorough checking. Photo: PTI
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Bomb threats to over 200 schools across Delhi and NCR on Wednesday morning sent authorities into alert mode and parents into panic, prompting the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to step in and issue a statement that the threats were most likely hoax.

Teams of police, bomb squad, fire service and other agencies rushed to conduct checks, parents left home or offices to pick up their children as the count of schools that received threats grew rapidly. Some schools that did not receive threats also asked parents to pick their ward as a precautionary measure.

The MHA, Delhi Police later said nothing was found after thorough checking, adding that an investigation was underway. Delhi Police Crime Branch Special CP Ravinder Yadav said apart from schools, these emails were received by some hospitals also.

Bomb Threat In Delhi Schools | What Really Happened

1. 200 Delhi Schools Get Bomb Threat: What first was reported as bomb threats via emails to four-five schools later spiralled to over 200 schools, most of which were in Delhi, while some were also in Noida. Delhi Public School in Dwarka, RK Puram, Noida and Vasant Kunj, Mother Mary's School in East Delhi Mayur Vihar, and Sanskriti School in Chanakyapuri were among the over 200 schools that received bomb threats via email on Wednesday. A school in Lucknow also reportedly received a threat later in the day.

2. Parents Rush To Schools: As reports of bomb threats to Delhi schools surfaced, panic ensued and parents rushed to pick their children up while police, dog and bomb squads and other security agencies conducted searches parallely.

3. MHA Issues Statement: Hours into the alarm, chaos and search operations, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a statement regards to threat mails to schools in Delhi and said "there is no need to panic," adding that it appears to be "hoax". Delhi Police and security agencies are taking necessary steps as per protocol, MHA said. Delhi Police also said bomb threat at schools seems to be a hoax and requested people not to panic.

4. Students Sent Home: The schools were evacuated, children were sent home as precautionary measure. Visuals showed parents gathering at the gates of the schools to pick up their children.

The schools were evacuated, children were sent home as precautionary measure
The schools were evacuated, children were sent home as precautionary measure Photo: PTI
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5. Origin of Mail, ISISI Link: Officials said 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 e-mails 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 National 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-India investigation, an official said.

6. What Was Written In The Mail: According to a police officer, the e-mail ID from which the threat was sent is 'sawariim@mail.ru'. Sawarim is an Arabic word extensively used by the terror outfit Islamic State (IS) in their propaganda videos 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.

7. Mail Sent Using VPN: Reports also said that it took some time for the police to trace the email's origin as it was sent using a virtual private network (VPN) that routed and rerouted data through foreign servers. The police managed to narrow down on the internet protocol (IP) address - a unique identifier - after retracing the VPN traffic and found the source of the email, sources cited in an NDTV report said.

7. Some Hospitals Also Received Threats: Ravinder Yadav, Special CP, Delhi Police Crime Branch, said bomb threats were received by some hospitals in Delhi also, apart from schools. "These emails were received in several schools. Some hospitals also received these emails yesterday. Thorough checking is going on. Bomb Disposal Squad, Dog Squad and fire tenders are present here...Even if it is a hoax call, we cannot take chances. We will conduct an investigation," he said.

8. Done To Create Panic, Say Cops: Delhi Police PRO Suman Nalwa said that it seems someone has done this to create panic. Delhi Police has conducted search operations but nothing untoward has been found so far, she said, adding that "it seems someone has done this to create panic". She requested parents to not get panicked.

9. Continuous Calls To Fire Services: Delhi Fire Services director Atul Garg said they have been receiving calls continuously since morning, the threat mails have been sent with an intention to create panic. "We have been receiving calls continuously since morning, over 60 calls have been received in the control room. We have tried to attend all the calls. Fire tenders have returned from a few schools as they found that it was a hoax call."

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"I have alerted all the fire stations in the morning itself and officers have been asked to stay at the [fire] stations. By and large, all the calls will turn out to be hoax. This [threat mail] has been sent with an intention to create panic," he said

10. Threats To Noida Schools As Well: In Uttar Pradesh's Noida, where some schools received the same bomb threat email, Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Shivhari Meena said: "All such schools that received the bomb threat were thoroughly checked and sanitised and no suspicious object was found anywhere.

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"It has been proved that the mail was hoax. We appeal to all the parents and school administrations not to pay heed to any rumour. Security system is all good," he said.

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