Mumbai: 12-Year-Old Assam Boy Sent Bomb Threats To City Museums As 'Pastime,' Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad Discovers

Mumbai: 12-Year-Old Assam Boy Sent Bomb Threats To City Museums As 'Pastime,' Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad Discovers

The boy was apparently in touch with an anonymous person living abroad; and said that he did it all for fun and pastime.

Aishwarya IyerUpdated: Monday, January 15, 2024, 09:25 PM IST
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Representational photo | Pixabay

After pulling out all stops to reach the culprit who sent hoax bomb emails to museums in Mumbai as well as other parts of the country, Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) found out that a 12-year-old boy from Assam had done it all for pastime. However, the investigation also discovered the minor's virtual link to an anonymous person living abroad. Though it apparently seems that the boy sent the worrying emails at the individual's behest, the cops are not sure about the theory. No action has been taken given the age factor.

Police swung into action after city museums receive bomb threats

On the morning of January 5, emails threatening bomb blasts were received by several museums across India. In Mumbai, such a communication was received by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Colaba, which was also the first to report the same to the police. Soon afterwards, Worli’s Nehru Science Centre, Byculla Zoo, Gamdevi’s Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya and eight others museums gave the same complaints.

Immediately after registering a complaint at the Colaba police station, the police scrambled sniffer dogs and bomb disposal teams, while the ATS personnel were deployed all across the city. Despite anxiously searching for two days, the cops found nothing and declared it a hoax threat.

ATS launches parallel investigation

Subsequently, a parallel investigation was initiated by the ATS besides the Colaba police. The Kolkata police, too, had registered a similar FIR as the Indian Museum was also a recipient of such an email. “An ATS team was sent (to Assam) after we tracked down the IP address from which the emails were sent. Later, another team was dispatched from our end (Colaba police) as well. The Kolkata police officials were also present at the spot,” said police sources.

He continued, “The boy was in touch with an anonymous person who is apparently settled in Canada, but we are not sure. Both of them exchanged messages via online platforms, and the boy followed whatever he was told.”

Threats sent for 'fun and games'

The minor used his elder sister’s laptop to create the email to send the hoax threats. The traced IP address was of a woman. When the cops questioned her, she had no clue about it. The boy then confessed to using the laptop (for sending emails). Given his age, he didn’t realise the serious consequences of his actions, said the police source, adding that the boy did it all for “fun and games”.

Police officials asked his parents to counsel him so that doesn’t repeat such an act. With regard to the boy's anonymous partner, no investigation has been done in that direction as the threats turned out hoax, sources added.

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