Indian police on alert as threat email warns of blowing up stadium in Ahmedabad during World Cup: report

Published October 7, 2023
A general view of Narendra Modi Stadium, one of the venues of the ICC Men’s World Cup, in Ahmedabad, India. — Reuters/File
A general view of Narendra Modi Stadium, one of the venues of the ICC Men’s World Cup, in Ahmedabad, India. — Reuters/File

Indian police have received a “threat email” from an anonymous sender to blow up Prime Minister and the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad — the ground where the World Cup final is scheduled to be played — if Rs5,000 million were not paid to a local gangster, according to Indian media.

A report in Hindustan Times said the email insisted that the funds must be transferred to gangster Lawrence Bishnoi, and carried a warning that the group had already deployed people to execute the planned attacks.

The report does not provide an exact date for when the email was received by Indian authorities.

“We will blow up Narendra Modi and the Narendra Modi stadium as well if the government fails to pay us ₹ 500 crore and release Lawrence Bishnoi. Everything sells in Hindustan, so we too have bought something. No matter how much you secure, you won’t be able to remain safe from us. If you wish to talk, do so on this email,” reads an excerpt from the threat.

According to the report, the gangster in question was currently incarcerated at a Delhi jail. It said the “threat mail,” suspected to have originated in Europe, was initially directed to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the federal agency subsequently alerted the Mumbai police about it.

“We have received the email from the NIA, which has alerted all agencies concerned in other places as well. We also got the email ID from which the NIA got the email and are trying to trace that as well, and prima facie it seems that the mail has come from Europe,” the report quoted the police officer as saying.

It, however, noted that the message seemed to be a potential hoax or an act of mischief originating from a foreign location. Despite this, authorities have initiated a search for the sender, and security measures for all cricket matches will be assessed and strengthened if necessary, the report added.

According to News18, stadium security was enhanced, with approximately 3,500 police personnel deployed for the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup on October 5 between Australia and New Zealand, following the alert.

It is pertinent to mention here that US-based group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) central leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannu had last month threatened to turn the cricket World Cup into “World Terror Cup” and the Ahmedabad police had registered an FIR against him on September 29, reported News18.

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