Action Plan in Place to Deal with Bomb Threats in Schools, Hoax Calls: Delhi Police to HC
The Delhi city police informed the Delhi High Court on Monday that they have formulated a comprehensive action plan to address bomb threat calls made to schools and have established a procedure to handle "hoax calls." This response comes following a petition expressing concerns about bomb threats in schools this year. The police reported that they have specialized bomb disposal squads and teams trained to handle such threats in accordance with a standard operating procedure.
The status report further revealed that certain bomb threat calls received by schools this year were found to be hoaxes, and appropriate action has been taken against the juvenile suspects involved. The High Court had directed the police to submit an action plan to safeguard the safety and security of children, teachers, staff, and all stakeholders in response to a petition filed by a parent of a child studying at DPS Mathura Road, which received a bomb threat call earlier this year.
The police explained that they have dedicated Bomb Disposal Squads (BDS) and Bomb Disposal Teams (BDTs) responsible for handling bomb threats and related incidents in Delhi. They have also prepared an Action Plan outlining the steps to be taken by different stakeholders upon receiving a bomb call. Additionally, a circular has been drafted to guide the Delhi Police in dealing with hoax bomb calls.
Justice Subramonium Prasad listed the matter for further hearing in September and allowed an association of private schools to present their suggestions on the issue. The status report contained a "draft action plan," dated July 27, which detailed the coordinated efforts of various stakeholders, including local police, traffic police, fire department, disaster management teams, ambulances, and hospitals, in responding to a bomb threat.
As part of the action plan, mock drills will be organized to enhance preparedness, and school authorities will develop precautionary measures and evacuation plans in collaboration with relevant authorities. Parents and students will also be adequately briefed about the legal consequences of making hoax bomb threat calls.
According to a Delhi Police circular issued on July 27, legal action will be taken against those responsible for making hoax threat calls. Cyber police will investigate the calls under the supervision of the district DCP, and the accused will be arrested. The investigation will be conducted promptly, and a final report will be submitted to the relevant court.
The petitioner, Arpit Bhargava, a lawyer, expressed dissatisfaction with the Delhi government and police for their lackadaisical approach in handling frequent bomb threat emails received by schools. He argued that their failure to prevent these incidents has caused extreme trauma, stress, harassment, inconvenience, and fear among all stakeholders.