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Delhi bomb threats: What we know so far

Delhi bomb threats: What we know so far
The news has been abuzz with reports of a bomb threat in several schools in Delhi and the National Capital Region. Since then, many officials have already emphasised that the threats were a hoax, and that there is no cause for worry at the moment. Let’s take a look at the latest updates that followed these bomb calls.
What happened?
On Wednesday morning, news reports revealed that two Delhi schools — Mother Mary School in East Delhi and Dwarka’s Delhi Public School — had received bomb threats via email.

Follow up reports noted that a total of nearly 100 schools in Delhi-NCR had received similar reports in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, with the emails having been sent as early as 4 AM. Delhi Fire Service added that it had received 97 bomb threat calls from different schools by 12 PM.

Central agencies have since explained that many airports and hospitals have also received similar bogus threats on Monday and Tuesday. Amity International School in Lucknow too received bomb threat messages, following which the school was scanned, again to no avail.
What steps have been taken?
Following the bomb threats, local police evacuated the affected schools, and bomb detection and disposal squads were dispatched to the schools to confirm the threat. Schools concluded early, and approximately 3,500 students were sent home via parents or school buses. The students’ school bags were left behind as a precautionary measure.

Delhi Minister Atishi later explained that “no suspicious items” have been found in any of the schools thus far, and explained that a detailed search is underway. Delhi’s Deputy Commissioner of Police, Devesh Kumar Mahla also confirmed the same.

Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena urged the Police Commissioner to run a complete probe to determine the perpetrators' identities urgently, and to rigorously improve security measures in the Union Territory. He assured that the culprits would receive strict punishment for their part in the widespread paranoia.

Meanwhile, Special Commissioner of Police RP Upadhyay called the bomb a “terror threat”, noting that the Counter Intelligence Unit of the Special Cell has taken up the matter. Authorities have heightened security protocols at metros, railway stations, bus terminals and marketplaces.

Meanwhile, Atishi explained that schools will function normally from tomorrow onwards.
Who sent the threats?
Official sources speculated that one person might be behind this mass mailing chain, with initial reports tracing the source back to Russia. This origin was determined by the IP address of the emails, which came from the ‘swaarim@mail.ru’ address. Delhi Police noted that “swaarim” is a propaganda-connected word frequently used by the Islamic State, and is investigating whether any such organisations might be involved.

However, some principals of the affected schools have also claimed that the threats might have been spam sent by parents dissatisfied by the schools’ functioning. They asserted that similar hoaxes have become more rampant over the past couple of months.

Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj remarked that it was a strange coincidence that a BJP spokesperson published a bomb-related tweet yesterday, urging an investigation into the connection was necessary.
Which colleges received the threat?
While the entire list has not been revealed yet, the following schools have been confirmed to have received the bomb threats, as per Mint:

Amity School, Army Public School, DPS International School, BGS Vijnatham School,DPS schools (Dwarka, East of Kailash, Knowledge Park 5, Noida, RK Puram, Sector 122, Vasant Vihar), G D Goenka, Guru Harkrishan Public School, Mother Mary’s School, Salwan Public School, Sanskriti School, St. Thomas' Girls Senior Secondary School.

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