The police have zeroed in on the three students who allegedly made hoax bomb calls to a private school in Ghaziabad on Tuesday leading to a major scare. The trio, aged between 16 and 17, used a smartwatch to make the calls “just for fun”.
The reception desk at Chhabil Dass Public School (CDPS) received two calls regarding bombs on Tuesday forcing the police to evacuate 5,000 people from the school and search through almost 120 classrooms. The three were identified as CDPS students and a fourth student, who is their friend, studies at another school. The three are believed to have got him to buy the watch.
“One of them purchased a smartwatch for Rs 2,700 from a market at Chopla in Ghaziabad on Sunday. Later, they fitted the watch with a SIM card. When the watch worked with the card, they got excited. Since the school does not allow mobile phones inside, they brought the SIM card-fitted watch to the school and made calls from the classroom,” said Salman Taj, superintendent of police (SP), Ghaziabad.
The staffer who attended the first call ignored it, following which they called again after 10 minutes.
“After the first call did not evoke a response, one of the three boys went to the washroom to see if there was any activity in the school after the first call. Seeing that there was none, they made a second call, which made the school authorities panic. When the police arrived, the boys got scared and gave the watch to another boy to throw it near an empty drain,” said a police officer.
A local boy picked up the watch but threw it back after he saw police activity and heard the news about the bomb search.
After the school was searched and cleared, police officials looked up the calls received at the school’s landline number. Later at night, police zeroed in on the four boys.
“The boys were let off keeping in mind their future and career. Senior officials advised against booking the minors. We have handed them to their families and issued a warning,” the SP said.
Following the information about the bomb-related call at CDPS on Tuesday morning, hundreds of parents had flocked to other city schools as well and taken their children back home. Some of the schools had also shut down early in the wake of the calls.