Bomb threats in 8 Delhi hospitals, airport; security beefed up

Security officials at Burari Hospital after it received bomb threat via e-mail, in New Delhi, Sunday, May 12, 2024. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Eight hospitals and the IGI Airport in Delhi received bomb threats through emails on Sunday, 11 days after similar messages to over 150 schools in Delhi-NCR sparked a scare of unprecedented scale.

Police received information regarding the threat from Brurari Hospital at 3 pm after which complaints came in from several other hospitals across the city and police teams were dispatched but "nothing suspicious" has been found yet, officials said.

The bomb threats were reported from Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal-3, Burari Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Bara Hindu Rao Hospital, Janakpuri Super Speciality Hospital, Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Dabri's Dada Dev Hospital and Aruna Asaf Ali Government Hospital in Civil Lines, a senior Delhi Fire Services official said.

According to the police sources, the airport authorities received a threat email at 6 pm. Security has been beefed up in all the hospitals in the city and additional police force deployment was made at the airport, however, nothing suspicious has so far been recovered from any of the locations, they said.

After a call from Burari Hospital, local police, bomb squad and dog squad were rushed to the spot, Deputy Commissioner of Police (north) M K Meena said. "Teams are checking the hospital. Nothing suspicious has been found yet."

In a statement, an official at the Burari Hospital said, "At around 3 pm, we received an email regarding a bomb in the hospital. After this, all the safety measures had been thoroughly checked and everything was stable. This was the first time we received such an email."

Sanjay Gandhi Hospital also received a threat email around 3 pm, according to officials. "Soon after the call, we immediately pressed two fire engines at both the locations. Teams have been sent to all the locations from where we are getting calls. The search operation is going on," a DFS official said.

On May 1, over 150 schools in Delhi-NCR received an identical threat email claiming that explosives had been planted on their premises, triggering massive evacuations and searches. The authorities later declared it a hoax.

The Delhi Police's anti-terror unit special cell traced the domain of emails to Russia and it is suspected to have been formed with the help of the dark web -- an encrypted online content that allows individuals to hide their identity and location from others.

After the hoax emails to schools, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla reviewed the situation with senior officials and emphasised the need to enhance security, deploy CCTV cameras and regularly monitor emails in the schools, besides preparing a detailed protocol and SOPs to handle any such incidents in future.

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