41 airports across India get hoax bomb threat on email


PTI, Jun 19, 2024, 9:30 AM IST

Representative image (Credit: iStock)

New Delhi: Forty-one airports, including in Varanasi, Chennai, Patna and Jaipur, received bomb threat emails on Tuesday, prompting authorities to scramble contingency measures and carry out anti-sabotage checks that lasted hours, and each of them was found to be a hoax, official sources said.

Security was beefed up as agencies swept the airport terminals after the emails were received around 12.40 pm from the ID [email protected].

The airports in Varanasi, Chennai, Patna, Nagpur, Jaipur, Vadodara, Coimbatore and Jabalpur were among those that received the hoax threats.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi on Tuesday, the first time after the Lok Sabha poll results were declared on June 4.

An online group called “KNR” is suspected to be behind these hoax threat emails. The group reportedly issued similar emails to several schools in the Delhi-National Capital Region on May 1, the sources said.

The emails received by the airports carried almost the identical message: “Hello, there are explosives hidden in the Airport. The bombs will soon explode. You will all die.”

The airports put into action contingency plans and carried out anti-sabotage checks following recommendations of their respective Bomb Threat Assessment Committees, the sources said.

At the Chennai airport, a Dubai-bound flight with 286 passengers was delayed as a result of the hoax threat.

Soon after receiving the email warning of a bomb on the aircraft, security agencies conducted a thorough search of the flight but found nothing suspicious. The flight was later cleared to proceed to its destination.

The Jaipur international airport authorities too mounted an inspection after receiving the bomb threat email. Police and CISF personnel searched the premises but did not find anything.

Sources at the Mumbai airport said there was no impact on services as the threat was “non-specific”.

Authorities at the Nagpur and Patna airports also conducted thorough searches on their premises after receiving the hoax threat.

Patna airport director Anchal Prakash said, “A bomb threat through email was received at the Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport, besides 41 other airports. The Bomb Threat Assessment Committee (BTAC) Meeting was convened and it found the threat to be non-specific.”

All the airports reported the threat to be a hoax and passenger movements were kept unhindered to the best of the capacities, the sources said.

On Monday, the Delhi airport received an email around 9.30 am that warned of a bomb threat on a Dubai-bound flight but nothing suspicious was found during inspections.

Similar hoax emails were sent to several airports in April too, and Indian cyber security agencies are working to find the origin of these emails that have been sent from abroad.

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