In Letter To News Channel, Bangalore Boy Said He Planted 5 Bombs In Mumbai
Mateen Hafeez | TNNMumbai: A 15-year-old Bangalore teenager was arrested by the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell (CCIC) of the city crime branch on Friday for allegedly sending a hoax email to a private news channel. In the e-mail, he claimed to have planted five bombs in Mumbai, challenging the police to find them before it was too late.
According to police officials, at around 1pm on May 25, the news channel received an e-mail that read: “I have planted five bombs in Mumbai; you have two hours to find it.” The police, who were alerted immediately, traced the Internet Protocol (IP) address to Vijay Nagar in Bangalore. The internet service provider for the account was BSNL, said officials.
In a joint operation with the Bangalore police, CCIC investigators identified the perpetrator of the e-mail and zeroed in on teenager Krishna Singh (name changed), son a local businessman.
Singh was brought to Mumbai on Thursday night and arrested for criminal intimidation. The Information Technology (amended) Acts section for cyber terrorism, however, was not included in the charge sheet.
Curiosity, it appears, was the main motive. During the interrogation, Singh allegedly told the police that he had no intention of committing any crime, but simply wanted to know what would happen if he sent a hoax threat by e-mail to a news channel. Nevertheless, police officials said they checked his computer thoroughly.
Singh was sent to a juvenile remand home in Dongri on Friday, and was granted bail on Saturday.
But what is more worrying is a steady increase in hoax threats and e-mails, not by adults, but by minors who, more often than not, do it “just for fun”. This year alone, the CCIC has received 21 such threat complaints applications. And it's not the first time a juvenile has been arrested for sending hoax emails (See box).
Experts believe that children are unaware of the repercussions of such actions. Cyber guru, Vijay Mukhi, said, “Most of the children who send such e-mails don’t realise that it is a serious offence. The new amendment for such an offence comes under ‘cyber terrorism’, and the maximum punishment is life imprisonment.
The wastage of manpower and police time to simply track these offenders is criminal, say experts. In an attempt to build awareness and educate students, the city’s police force and cyber cell has been conducting programmes on “future crime” in schools and colleges. The aim, said one police officer, is to help minors realise that sending such threats is a crime. More often than not, most of the minors arrested are let off with a warning
MINOR HOAX SPELLS MAJOR TROUBLE
1) Sixteen-year-old Rakesh Patel (name changed), a student from Ahmedabad, sent an email to a private news channel on March 18, 2008, warning officials of a bomb on an Andheri-bound train. In the e-mail, he claimed to be a member of the Dawood Ibrahim gang. Three days later, the Crime Investigation Cell (CCIC) of the city police arrested the boy under Section 506 (ii) for criminal intimidation. He was charge sheeted on November 28, 2008
Status: Patel was given a warning by a juvenile court
2 )A 14-year-old Colaba boy sent a hoax e-mail to a TV channel in Madhya Pradesh, three days after the July 26, 2008, Ahmedabad bomb blasts. He claimed that 29 bombs would go off in Jabalpur. He was picked up by officers of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) who, with the help of the MP police, were able to trace the e-mail to a cyber café in Colaba.
Status: No FIR was registered. The Cuffe Parade police registered a non-cognizable (NC) complaint against him, and the boy was allowed to go home after the police gave him a “strict warning”
3) Shariq Khan, 18, was arrested in Bhopal on July 26, 2006, for sending out three e-mails claiming to be a member of the terrorist organisation, which the police believed was behind the 7/11 train bombings. He was arrested by the Bhopal police. Later, the ATS brought the boy to Mumbai and also booked him for a five-year-old unsolved case where an unknown accused had sent e-mail warnings to the department of Atomic Energy (DAE) in 2001.
Status: The police filed a charge sheet against Shariq who claimed that he had sent the e-mails for fun. Trial is pending in a juvenile court. Shariq is presently out on bail in Bhopal
4) On February 26, 2006, a 17-yearold student from Jamnabai Narsee School called an Alitalia flight bound to Milan at 2am telling them there was a bomb on board. He wanted to stop his girlfriend from going abroad. She was one of the 12 students on their way to attend a mock United Nations session in Genoa
Status: After being grilled by the police, he was arrested, but let out on bail
The Times of India, May 31, 2009