Over 60 schools receive bomb threat via email in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: In a shocking turn of events, over 60 schools in the city were pushed into disarray as the administrative staff received sinister emails threatening detonation of explosive devices unless the schools converted to Islam.

“Sixty-eight private schools in and around the city on Friday received emails warning of a bomb threat on their premises, triggering panic among the staff and parents,” police said.

The heft of the email forced the city police to take prompt action, leading to fierce security concerns, and frenzy among parents, students and school authorities.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Home Minister Dr G Parameshwara addressed the dreadful situation, avowing that the threats were taken seriously.

The admonitions, encumbered with unequivocal demand for religious conversion, sent jitters down the spine of the educational institutions and Bengaluru at large.

The presumption of violence targeting schools entrenched fear, underlining the susceptibility of these institutions and the need for a screaming response.

In response to the threat emails, anti-sabotage teams were deployed to scrupulously search each school premises.

Despite the exigencies, Bengaluru Police Commissioner B Dayanada told media that these searches did not earn any evidence of any suspicious objects.

The immediate relief was coupled with ambiguity as authorities dismissed the threats as a ‘hoax message.’

However, this raises questions about the nature of the threat and jihadi inclinations behind such disquieting messages.

Dayananda reduced the heightened tension surrounding the emails by assuring the public. He said, “Bomb detection and disposal squads were sent to all these schools, and most likely it seemed to be a hoax.”

He further reminisced the repetitive nature of such threats by saying, “Earlier also similar threat letters and emails had come to schools and they were found to be a hoax for mischief and police had identified those behind it. Police are verifying today’s mails too…officials and personnel have gone to all these spots. I appeal to people not to worry, as most likely all these are hoax calls (mails).”

Siddaramaiah said, “I have asked police to seriously investigate the email and its source, and provide adequate security to schools and temples as a precautionary measure.”

Dr Parameshwara said the message originated from an email id “[email protected],” claiming bombs have been placed in the schools in Bengaluru and threatened to kill children and staff.

Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar visited one of the affected schools and said, prima facie, it appears to be fake (hoax).

He appealed to parents not to worry and said their children would be safe.

Despite the reassurances from the police and legislators, an apparent angst suffused the affected schools and public.

The decision by some schools to evacuate the students and relocate them to safer places, and urging their parents to accompany them back to their homes, highlights the very real fear instilled by the mere suggestion of violence within the school premises.

The gravity of the situation escalated as some political leaders suspected the hand of terrorists, based on the content of the emails.

“I saw the content of the email. It was horrible. Unlike the mail sent last year to school, this was different. They have referred to international issues and used words which terrorists use. The police are looking into it,” BJP MLA Suresh Kumar said.

Asked to describe the email content, Suresh Kumar said, “They have written on a current international matter.”

BJP senior leader R Ashoka argued that the emails make clear that they intend to target Hinduism and are talking about the Mumbai attack, and hence their intention is clear.

Meanwhile, the cyber-crime are actively working to trace the culprits through their IP addresses.

The current wave of bomb threats to Bengaluru schools is not an isolated incident. On an earlier occasion, investigations made clear that the bomb threat was anot a credible act of terror, but a disturbing prank orchestrated by a minor boy from a different school.


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