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Pak link in bomb threat emails to schools, say cops

The emails, initially considered rumors, were found to be sent by an individual named Tohik Liyakat, operating from Pakistan under the alias Ahmed Javed.

Prabhav Anand10 May 2024 16:58

Cops taking charge at the school after getting the threat email.  (Credit: PTI)

Cops taking charge at the school after getting the threat email. (Credit: PTI)

The crime branch has uncovered a Pakistani connection to the bomb threats that targeted at least 14 schools in Gujarat state's Ahmedabad city. These emails were received on May 6, just a day before the Prime Minister's visit to the state for polling.

The investigation initially traced the origin of the emails to a Russian domain, specifically from the email address "tauheedl@mail.ru". However, further probing revealed a link to a military cantonment in Pakistan. The emails, initially considered rumours, were found to be sent by an individual named Tohik Liyakat, operating from Pakistan under the alias Ahmed Javed. 

This incident mirrors a recent threat to 131 schools in Delhi, dismissed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as a hoax. The threat mail to Delhi schools has been sent using four IP addresses with the same hostname and generated from Moscow. Importantly, two IP addresses have been traced back to Mumbai by a government operation centre that monitors websites.

Despite no suspects or explosives found, these incidents have caused significant concern among the public and authorities alike. The Ahmedabad Police swiftly responded to the bomb threats and conducted investigations at the targeted schools. No suspects or explosives were found at any of the locations. 

The MHA issued an official statement, deeming the emails a "hoax" and urging the public not to panic. The MHA assured that "Delhi Police and security agencies are taking necessary steps as per protocol".

These incidents highlight the need for increased vigilance and improved cybersecurity measures in our schools. The authorities are working tirelessly to ensure the safety of students and staff, and to bring those responsible to justice.

Safety measures taken

In response to the bomb threats, the Directorate of Education (DoE) and other relevant authorities have taken several security measures to ensure the safety of students and staff in schools:

Stepping up Security: The DoE has issued directions to schools to enhance safety and security measures. This includes adding fencing, removing unnecessary items where explosives may be hidden, and identifying vulnerable areas such as poorly lit parking lots, parking lots too close to the school building, and hard-to-monitor areas.

Surveillance: Schools have been directed to increase surveillance through CCTVs.

Communication: Parents, students, and the school staff are being communicated about clear rules of acceptable behavior. They are being briefed and sensitized about the legal ramifications and punitive provisions following making hoax bomb threat calls.

Emergency Response: On receipt of a bomb threat, schools are instructed to inform the police immediately, evacuate students to a holding area in consultation with the police, and hand over the custody of students to their parents or guardians after proper verification.

These measures are designed to ensure that schools can respond to a bomb threat in an orderly and controlled manner with first responders and other stakeholders. The agencies are working tirelessly to uncover more details and ensure the safety of the students and staff at the schools.

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