The office of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) director on Saturday received a live detonator, along with a “bomb-like” substance, and a threat letter that warned against any association with JNU leader Kanhaiya Kumar, officials and police said.
The parcel passed through security at the main gate and landed at the office of Bhupendra Kainthola, the new FTII director, who informed the police following which a bomb disposal unit was pressed into action.
Police said they are probing the source of the package and the typewritten letter that threatens students of the institute against supporting Kumar and inviting him to the campus.
Kainthola, who took charge earlier this week, told The Sunday Express, “I was in office when the parcel was opened by my aides. It was found to have the bomb-like assembly and a threat letter. We immediately alerted police who deployed the bomb squad. They secured the substance by taking it to the open ground.”
Sudhir Hiremath, Deputy Commissioner of Police, said the package was sent through normal post from an unidentified location.
“It’s not a registered post or a speed post. The letter must have been delivered by the postman at around 2.30 pm-3 pm. It was opened at the director’s office at 5.30 pm. It’s not clear how it got past security as the campus is quite secure with heavy deployment of personnel,” said Hiremath.
Asked about the contents of the letter, he said, “The one-page letter is typewritten in English. It’s addressed to Prashant Pathrabhe (the former director who was replaced last week) and threatens students against supporting JNU leader Kanhaiya Kumar. It says, ‘You are supporting Kanhaiya Kumar who’s an anti-national. He’s also speaking against the Indian Army which is a devout force and armymen are ready to die for the country. You should not support him and should not allow him to conduct any programmes’.”
Vikas Urs, a third-year cinematography student said this was not the first time that students had received threat letters but an incident, involving a detonator, was unprecedented.
“During the time of our strike last year, the students received letters that were abusive and warned of dire consequences. But this is the first time such a threat was delivered, along with a detonator, at the director’s office. How can we feel safe if a bomb-like object reaches the director’s office?” said Urs.