The British School in the high-security Chanakyapuri area was put under security lockdown for an hour on Thursday noon after an unknown caller threatened to kill everybody in the institution.
The locality houses diplomatic missions, including those of the United States, France and Russia. Similar threatening calls were earlier received at the British Schools in Geneva, Dubai, Tokyo and the Hague.
Security was stepped up in the area November after 129 people were killed in the Paris attacks.
The school receptionist said the caller spoke in fluent English and asked for the principal . He called the receptionist a ‘b****’ when she asked him to leave a message. He claimed to have an AK 47, deadly bombs, including an RDX, which would kill everyone in the school.
There were 800 people, including students and employees, at the time.
In a 17-second rant, he claimed it would be a ‘bloody’ day and repeatedly called the receptionist as a b****. He hung up before she could respond.
The receptionist informed the police and school authorities.
“The reception got the call on the landline at 12.54 pm. We cordoned off the area and carried out an intensive security drill. Our teams checked the entire school and the adjoining areas. No such person or weapons were found,” said deputy commissioner of police (New Delhi) Jatin Narwal.
“Students and teachers were locked inside for more than an hour. The doors were locked from inside, blinds pulled down, lights switched off and no one was allowed to talk. No one could even use telephones or computers,” a student told HT.
He called it a traumatic experience. “We were told that it is not a mock drill. We felt things were happening for real till it was finally declared as a hoax call and we were allowed to move,” he said.
The DCP said the call was dismissed as a hoax after the police team was sure there was no threat.
“Since the call was generated either through Face Time or Skype or some other website using the internet and not a telecom service provider, it will be difficult to trace the location from where it was made,” police said.
Police said they sought expert help to identify the caller.
“Investigation in the matter is on,” police said.
The school issued a statement reading, “We remained in lockdown until the school security staff and the police had finished sweeping the grounds and declared the school safe. Students and staff were dispersed in a controlled, orderly and calm manner.”
It also said the school will ramp up security arrangements.
The school’s Dubai branch got a hoax call on Thursday, the Tokyo branch last Thursday and the one in the Hague on January 16.