Thiruvananthapuram, Oct. 27: Kerala police have received email threatening to assassinate Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit to the state on November 1, the 50th anniversary of Kerala Formation Day.
The message also threatens to assassinate President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam whenever he visits the state.
The source was traced to High Speed Internet Café, a small operation on MG Road at Kochi. But the police were clueless about the sender of what, perhaps, is a hate mail.
In Delhi, home ministry sources said at first glance it looked like a hoax. The mail contains references to jailed cleric Abdul Nasser Madhany, the chairman of the Kerala-based People’s Democratic Party, and Mohammad Afzal, who is on the death row for the attack on Parliament.
It was sent from a newly created account, firstname.lastname@example.org. Since the mail ID has the word Simi, the police are checking if it has any relation to the proscribed Students’ Islamic Movement of India.
The police believe the mail was sent simultaneously to 40 police officers in the state, including director-general Ramon Srivastava, at 3.30 pm on Thursday.
Deputy inspector-general P. Ananthakrishnan (northern range) read the mail first and the high-tech crime cell acted swiftly, tracing the Internet café and sealing it.
Moideen and wife Shahiba, the proprietors of the café, besides two other employees, were being interrogated at an undisclosed centre in Kochi. The police, however, did not find anything incriminating.
Chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan said in Kochi later the DGP had confirmed that two people had been booked.
Home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said: “We’ve raised the alert and made all arrangements to ensure the safety and security of the Prime Minister. There’s no change in the itinerary. But I suspect there’s a deliberate move to spread panic in the state in connection with VIP visits.”
Balakrishnan was referring to letter-bomb bursts in Thiruvananthapuram hours before the visit of Kalam. Later it was found that the bomb-maker was settling personal scores.