Two hoax bomb calls made to a private school in Ghaziabad on Tuesday morning left thousands of students, their parents and teachers panicked. Other schools in the city also went into a tizzy.
Chhabil Dass Public School (CDPS) in Patel Nagar received the first call around 8.45am.
The first call about there being a bomb on the first floor was attended by a school staffer, who ignored it. Nearly 10 minutes later, the same person rang again and told the receptionist that the earlier call was not hoax and there was indeed a bomb in the school building.
A Suganthavalli, school principal, said, “I was informed about the calls. We immediately evacuated the children. The police was also roped in within 15 minutes. We then asked teachers to inform parents to pick up their children and also readied the school transport to send students home. Parents were sent SMSes, asking them to pick up their children.”
“We will lodge a police complaint as we want to trace the caller. The caller had a coarse voice. We have asked the police to trace all calls made to the school on Tuesday morning,” she said.
As nearly 5,000 students from nursery to Class 12 were evacuated and sent back home, more than 100 police personnel, a bomb disposal squad and a dog squad were pressed into service to search and secure the school premises.
“We searched the entire school premises, classrooms, staffrooms and all open spaces but no suspicious object was found. We have already started investigation in the case and are tracing the caller,” said Manish Mishra, circle officer (city).
In all, nearly 120 rooms in the school were checked by police units by 12.30pm.
The information about the incident soon spread on the social media, after which many parents, whose children study in other schools, called up the schools and the police. Some parents also went to the schools of their children to check on them.
Some schools also panicked and sent SMSes to parents of their students, asking them to pick them up at the earliest.
“Because of an emergency and news received that some school of Ghaziabad are under the threat of bomb attack, we do not want to take any chances therefore dispersal will be done in 15 min. You are requested to be on the spot ... (sic),” read an SMS sent to parents by a school in the Sihani Gate police station area.
As the news spread, even the railways authorities carried out an extensive checking at the Ghaziabad railway station.
“After the news, the railway protection force and government railway police carried out checks at the Ghaziabad junction. All platforms were thoroughly checked for any suspicious object,” said Pankaj Lavaniya, station house officer, GRP police station, Ghaziabad junction.