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01/05/24 | 1:59 pm

Dozens of schools in Delhi-NCR evacuated after email bomb threat hoax

Dozens of schools in India’s national capital region were evacuated on Wednesday after they received a bomb threat by email, police said, adding that “nothing objectionable” was found during searches of the schools.

More than 50 schools in Delhi and the adjoining suburb of Noida received the threatening email, officials said, triggering panic among parents and prompting schools to send students home.

The messages which arrived around 4 a.m. triggered immediate evacuations and thorough search operations across the affected institutions.

The threats were sent to the official email addresses of these educational institutions, setting off a coordinated response from law enforcement agencies and emergency services.

Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Vinai Kumar Saxena, said that the Delhi Police is fully prepared and committed to preventing any untoward incidents.

While the Home Ministry and Delhi Police urged the public not to panic, precautionary measures were swiftly implemented.

“There is no need to panic. Mails appear to be a hoax. Delhi Police and security agencies are taking necessary steps as per protocol,” the official release from the MHA read.

Television visuals showed parents standing outside the gates of schools across the region waiting to pick up children, as police teams, dog squads, and bomb disposal squads checked the premises.

The hoax affected thousands of schoolchildren from grades 1-12. Local police immediately evacuated the school premises, and bomb detection teams, disposal squads, and Delhi Fire Service officials were deployed to conduct thorough search operations.

“We’ve checked all the schools, and nothing has been found; there is no need to panic,” DCP New Delhi, Devesh Kumar Mahla, reassured, even as investigations into the bomb threats continued.

Delhi LG VK Saxena, who inspected one of the affected schools, revealed that he had sought a detailed probe from the Delhi Police Commissioner. “Spoke to the Police Commissioner and sought a detailed report into the bomb threats at schools in Delhi-NCR. Directed Delhi Police to carry out a thorough search in school premises, identify the culprits & ensure there are no lapses,” he stated, urging parents not to panic and cooperate with the authorities.

Authorities are conducting extensive inspections across all affected schools to ensure the safety of students, staff, and stakeholders. DCP South West, Rohit Meena, said, “We took action and decided to close the schools and send the students back home. Checking is underway at all the schools, and our technical wing is investigating the email. Through the initial investigation, it seems that this is a mass email,”

Delhi Education Minister Atishi, who uses only one name, appealed to people not to panic, adding that school authorities would be in touch with parents wherever needed.

Some schools that were not among the recipients of the email also sent messages to parents to reassure them about the safety of their children.

Similar threats have been sent to schools in New Delhi in the past, but turned out to be hoaxes.

(Inputs from agencies)

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