Published: 09th April 2022
Bengaluru bomb threat in schools could be a prank by student unprepared for SSLC exam, says Edu Min BC Nagesh
When St Vincent Palloti School in Babusahibpalya received the mail at 10 am, teachers were holding classes for students from Classes VI to IX, according to school authorities
Anxious moments prevailed among authorities of at least seven schools in Bengaluru which received bomb threat emails on Friday morning. Initially, both parents and children were kept in the dark about the situation by school authorities, up until the children were evacuated from the school, before the news broke.
It was only after children reached home early and parents rushed to school out of curiosity to find out the reason, and when parents were asked to pick up their wards, did they realise the gravity of the situation, and turned anxious.
When The Indian Public School at Govindapura received the threat mail at 11.36am, special classes were going on for over 350 students from pre-nursery to Class X, to catch up with lessons missed due to the pandemic. The school did not break for summer vacation, sources said.
Naazima, a resident of Hennur and parent of a student studying in Class VII at The Indian Public School, said, "We received a WhatsApp message on the Class VII group by the class teacher asking us to pick up the students. I just rushed. There was no clue about the bomb threat mail. One cannot play with emotions of parents with such hoax threats," she said.
When St Vincent Palloti School in Babusahibpalya received the mail at 10 am, teachers were holding classes for students from Classes VI to IX, according to school authorities.
"During the lunch break, the school declared a holiday without giving any reason. We were asked by school authorities to leave when our parents came to pick us up. But later, police arrived and asked us to leave the campus. We were horrified to see so many policemen in school," a student said.
A parent (who did not want to be named) whose child studies at St Vincent Palloti School, said, "Students had classes between 8 am and 3.30 pm. But we were surprised why children reached home early and shocked to hear that police had visited the school. So we rushed to the school to check. There were many cops and sniffer dogs checking every nook and corner of the school, an anti-sabotage squad, forensic experts and others. We were truly anxious."
ICSE, CBSE schools got mails
Surprisingly, all the schools which received bomb threat mails on Friday follow the ICSE or CBSE syllabus and none of them were centres for SSLC exams. While some of these school authorities were conducting special classes without giving vacation, to make up for classes missed due to the pandemic, there is a suspicion that the mail was sent to get the schools to declare holidays.
SSLC exams bothered some: Edu minister
Reacting to bomb threat emails, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education BC Nagesh said, "In the past, a student who was not prepared for the exam had made such a prank threat call to see whether the exam would be rescheduled, and later when caught by police, he confessed to it. After two years, due to COVID, no one thought the SSLC exams would go off well, and so many students would participate. That might have bothered some. Since the threat has been through email, the culprit will be caught soon. The home department has taken it seriously and is collecting all details," he said.