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'Bombile' a total hoax, telecom operators, police say nothing to fear

(L) CGM NE-II circle, R. Sanyal and SP Dimapur, Z. Mero at the press conference on Wednesday. (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, SEPT 29 (NPN):
Published on 30 Sep. 2010 12:37 AM IST
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Frantic SMSs warning against responding to some numbers over mobile, termed as ‘Bombile’ syndrome in the north east, has pushed rumour mills to top gear, creating some panic.
It may be recalled that the so-called ‘Bombile’ terror threat warned of fatal injuries on those who responded to some particular mobile numbers or SMS messages.
Confronting the wave of near panic created due to rumours in Nagaland, chief general manager (CGM) NE Circle-II R.Sanyal dismissed the ‘bombile’ threat as pure hoax bereft of any technical reasoning. Sanyal dismissed rumours that some numbers that caused explosions or even physical harm on the mobile user by some numbers appearing in red colour.
He told a joint press conference held with SP Dimapur Z.Mero that the panic in the north east were just rumours and that mobile users should not pay heed to them and assured they need not worry about such threats.
Sanyal attributed such rumours to the handiwork of either mischievous elements who were trying to create a situation or people with deranged minds out to disturb public tranquility. He said the prank calls were being made from selected numbers through services of providers such as Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone and Reliance.
Sanyal also pointed out that such rumours were not heard of in other parts of India except in the northeaster region. He said the BSNL was open for inspection and called all operators to remove misgivings. On the reports of a mobile handset exploding, Sanyal said it could happen with cheap mobiles that used substandard batteries. He pointed out that Chinese make mobile handsets were known to have exploded when batteries were overcharged.
SP Dimapur, Z. Mero also echoed the same message that SMS doing the rounds were nothing but rumours and asked public not to worry or fear. He further urged public to report on any information regarding such hoaxes to police.
Meanwhile, in another briefing with media Wednesday evening, police in the presence of representatives from local mobile service providers said the widespread claim about likely explosion of some 10,000 cellphones in northeast region and the reports of the death of one student in Dimapur who responded a call from an unknown mobile number, were complete hoax.
To another ‘Bombile’ case in Dimapur, where one labourer reportedly took ill on September 21 after receiving a call from unknown number and admitted to hospital on September 27, police officers said medical reports from hospital authorities confirmed that the cause of the patient falling down was attributed to be a case of fatigue. The x-ray and blood diagnosis report of the patient also did not reveal any complications except being a case of slight fever. Doctors at the hospital also confirmed that the patient’s sickness was not due to mobile phone though purely coincidental.
Clarifying on another hoax text message which warned against responding calls from certain numbers that would emit very high frequency waves hazardous to health, police said it was impossible since the average GSM device had the capability to receive only limited frequency.
A representative from one mobile service provider substantiated the point that the spectrum of GSM frequencies used in Nagaland was 900 Megahertz and 1800 Megahertz, and that there was no chance of any such occurrence.
A police officer disclosed that he tried to call one of the mobile numbers listed as dangerous but found it was non existent. Police has advised against creating further panic by spreading the rumours or resending the hoax SMS messages etc.

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