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Ghaziabad’s 15-year-old, who sent hoax bomb messages, inspired by Bollywood movie: Police

The police said the boy’s father had died six years back while his sister is physically challenged, besides his older brother contesting a divorce case against his estranged wife. They said the boy’s family conditions led them to let him off with a warning.

noida Updated: Jan 28, 2019 15:28 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times, Ghaziabad
UP 100,UP police,hoax bomb messages
UP police had, in a concerted action, roped in the UP special task force as well as UP100 system.(Sakib Ali / HT Photo )

The Ghaziabad police said that the hoax bomb messages, which had kept them on their toes on Republic Day, were sent by a 15-year-old boy. The police had received multiple messages of bombs being planted ahead of Republic Day. The UP police had led a concerted action to track the sender and had roped in the UP special task force, as well as officials of UP100. The boy was, however, let off with a warning.

The police said the boy’s father had died six years back while his sister is physically challenged, besides his older brother contesting a divorce case against his estranged wife. They said the boy’s family conditions led them to let him off with a warning.

“The boy himself is pursuing class 11 studies through open school and had to drop out of regular school as he had secured less marks. His family conditions are such that we decided not to press charges against him. He has been let off with a warning and his counselling is going on so that such incidents are not repeated again,” Shlok Kumar, superintendent of police (city), said.

Police sources said that messages to the police on January 24 had mentioned of a possible bomb blast in 30 minutes at a residential complex in Keshav Kunj. The police said similar communications were sent repeatedly till the evening but the message sender provided only nine digits of two different mobile numbers.

The police said the messages were again received on January 25 and mentioned the presence of five bombs in Govindpuram and two in Keshav Kunj, besides another in a school in RK Puram, Ghaziabad. The areas are close to the Harsaon Police Lines.

Gauging the gravity of the situation, especially ahead of the Republic Day, the police had lodged an FIR under IPC Section 507 (criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) and also levied provisions of the IT Act at the Kavi Nagar police station.

The messages landed on the chat box available on the UP police’s UP100 web portal.

“He was basically using a wireless network. We shared four IP addresses with the Ghaziabad police. The boy, however, played smart and did not click on the link sent to him via chat. The link would have taken note of his IP address. However, he clicked on a link which helped trace his location and the Ghaziabad police was informed,” an officer from UP100, Lucknow, said.

“His locations were also varying. These were sometimes traced to Ghaziabad, Noida and even Delhi, since he was using a wireless network. We repeatedly asked him to share his valid identification and location as we had to devote a lot of resources on bomb hoax messages. But he replied “Do you think I am mental? I have provided you the locations and now it is your responsibility”,” the officer said.

Police said the boy allegedly informed the police that he has a remote and has placed bombs which he would trigger. Police sources said the boy was inspired by Bollywood movie “A Wednesday” featuring a man “miffed with the system”. They added the boy wanted to see how the police react to his messages.

In all, about 25-30 chat messages were sent through UP100 chatbox and the boy allegedly provided three anonymous, nine-digit mobile numbers which left the police clueless, initially. The UP100 officers said they are now changing the procedure and will introduce two-stage OTP verification for authenticating the identities in cases having critical significance like bombs or train accidents.

“The two-step verification will be introduced within a day or two. This will help us establish identities and verifying the message sender. After authentication their identities will be kept secret,” Mohammad Imran, superintendent of police (UP100), said.

First Published: Jan 28, 2019 15:28 IST