A probe into at least six crude bomb blasts in Prayagraj has led the investigators in the local police department to unravel a murky world of crime involving teenagers, mostly minor children, studying in prestigious schools in the city.
At least 11 students have been apprehended in connection to the crude bomb blast – 10 being minors who have been sent to the juvenile home.
It all began after the local police, which registered FIRs in six different cases of crude bomb blasts, began investigating and bumped into a lead which blew the lid off a modus operandi used by school students to orchestrate the attacks.
According to the sleuths, Instagram groups with students from Boys High School (BHS), and Bishop Johnson School (BJS) as its members, were used to coordinate these fights and crude bomb attacks on one another.
All this was done to assert their supremacy and dominance.
'Immortals', 'Jaguar', 'Tandav' and 'Maya'
During the investigation, police learned that almost a year ago, students of BHS and BJS had formed an Instagram group named 'Immortals'. There were 40 members in the group who would frequently meet near Dhobi Ghat Chauraha after school.
Similarly, students from both schools had formed another Instagram group named “Tandava”. The group has been active for almost a year and has at least 100 members from different parts of the city, including Bairahna, Rambagh, Lallapur and Keedganj. They used to upload videos of their gathering during a rally or used the group to coordinate fights and the crude bomb attacks.
Sometimes, they also used to stream live feeds of the fights and the bomb attacks.
"The students were active in several Instagram groups. Names of some of these groups which have come up during investigation include 'Immortals', 'Jaguar', 'Tandav' and 'Maya'. Members of one group in a bid to assert their dominance and harass students of other groups used to indulge in fights and crude bomb attacks. They also used social media to glamorise such events."Senior superintendent of police (SSP), Shailesh Pandey, said.
Police also said the accused students used to locally procure material from the market and used to manufacture crude bombs by watching videos available on YouTube.
Goons at Allahabad Uni Pioneered Use of Crude Bombs
The dangerous trend of the use of crude bombs to assert supremacy is not new to Prayagraj. The use of such bombs has been pioneered by goons in Allahabad university and is a frequently used weapon to settle personal scores or political rivalry among student groups.
Several university hostels are dubbed as safe havens for miscreants who locally manufacture these crude bombs.
Earlier this year in June, five people, illegally living in Holland Hall hostel of the Allahabad University were arrested in a case of a crude bomb attack in the city. Police in its investigation had claimed that from the manufacture of the crude bomb to the attack, everything was planned and executed from the three rooms of the varsity hostel from where they were arrested.