IRONIC, BUT true. Pranksters make the most out of terror. A youth — describing himself as the “self-styled” Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) chief of Madhya Pradesh, was arrested here on Wednesday for sending a hoax mail to a local vernacular daily, claiming responsibility for the Mumbai blasts.
Nineteen-year-old Sumit Tamrakar, resident of Risaldar Colony, sent the e-mail from an Internet café saying the Mumbai blasts were just a “prelude” and if the police continued intimidating SIMI activists, “this Tuesday (mangal) would turn ominous (amangal).”
Inspector-general of police Sanjeev Kumar Singh said Sumit did it for “cheap thrill” and to “create a sensation”. He was not linked to any terror outfit.
Singh said the youth had apparently dropped a similar note in the donation box of a temple at Peer Gate a few days ago but nobody took notice of it.
But once he realized that the mails were spreading panic and receiving wide media coverage, he decided to send the “terror Tuesday” mail from an Internet café at Chhola Road to the online suggestions section of a local daily on July 16. The e-mail was traced to the café and the youth was arrested.
During interrogation, police recovered the handwritten letter from the temple’s donation box and matched his handwriting. Sumit, a Class XII dropout, sent the mail from the account of one Kamlendra.
His father Suresh Tamrakar, an utensil shop-owner, said his son had perhaps failed to log out of his mail account and someone had sent the message from his mailbox.
The police rounded up Sumit's cousin Nitin and friend Kamlendra, but officials insisted that only Sumit was in custody. Singh said the mail was sent to the newspaper and not to Mumbai or any other place. “We are not aware whether the e-mail originated from Indore or any other place. This case is not linked to it,” he added.
The fact that the police was informed about the e-mail just before the visit of President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and BJP leader L.K. Advani to the state capital, the police were even more circumspect in tracing the mail.
Police officials interrogating Sumit said he did not appear to be a SIMI sympathizer and “apparently did it for kicks without thinking that it could land him in trouble. The police are likely to book him for criminal intimidation, threat through anonymous communication and provisions of IT Act.”
Indore mail theory denied
On Tuesday, an e-mail purported to have been sent from Indore by so-called SIMI chief had created massive sensation. The police denied reports that the e-mail, sent to the media by Lashkar-e-Qahar, claiming responsibility for Mumbai serial blasts, originated from Indore and immediately conveyed its denial to the Mumbai police.