Hoax Bomb Calls to Schools are Recurring with Alarming Regularity!

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  • Howsoever one wishes to lead a life of content, happiness, bliss, trouble-free, and harmonious coexistence in society, out of nowhere comes anti-social elements hell-bent on creating trouble by disturbing the prevalent peace. What drives these anti-social elements to indulge in creating unnecessary trouble for citizens is best left to the experts/criminal psychiatrists to decipher. As it is, the world is full of fundamentalists, jihadists, separatists, and insurgents making concerted efforts to foment trouble to not only stay relevant in the government’s radar but also create an environment of uncertainty disturbing the tranquil atmosphere. As the proverbial saying goes, if law and order enforcement agencies are to exist, so is the presence of anti-social elements too.

Alarming

PC: India Today

  • There you go! It’s all about balancing the smooth conduct of administration amid intended chaos being created by criminals of all hues. Among many trends seen in recent times, one of the oft-repeated trends adopted by criminally inclined minds is to forward emails to schools threatening to blow the premises with the planted bombs. Recently, schools in Delhi received emails about bombs on their premises. As a standard protocol, Delhi police contacted all schools and were told to check emails. Close to 200 schools in Delhi-NCR reportedly received such mail. As if on cue, there was prompt dismissal of class and parents asked to pick up their wards. In the ensuing melee, schoolbags in some cases had to be left behind for police audits.
  • One can imagine what would go through the worried parents’ minds when schools informed them about a bomb in school. It must be heart-stopping news for sure. Mind you, telling them not to panic is moot, till it’s known for sure the mail is a hoax. Within hours, the news was indeed out that it was a bomb hoax. Still, parents across Delhi raced mid-morning to ferry kids back, as schools had dispersed. Not all panicked though. Some assured parents that no such mail/call was received, the school was safe, but parents could take wards home if they so desired. Bomb hoaxes are not new – schools are routinely targeted by delinquents. But mass bomb hoaxes are a different beast and are here to stay. The country had such incidents reported in Kolkata, Chennai, and Bengaluru.

Hoax Bomb Calls

PC: Business Today

  • The police investigations are underway but there are issues. Notably, it is near-impossible to trace such mails to their origin, given the cascade of VPNs that jump from country to country the sender(s) used. Investigations should not peter out over the absence of cooperation mechanisms for cross-border probes and sharing of electronic evidence, a challenge in the best of times. India has MLATs with just about 42 countries, and not necessarily for cybercrime investigations. Tracing such offenders, in the shortest possible time is key. India is also not a signatory to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime whereby countries can investigate jointly and share e-evidence. GOI needs to step up on enabling transborder cybercrime investigations to nip this in the bud.