Bengaluru: The French consulate in Bengaluru has received a threat letter purportedly written by Al Qaeda militants demanding the cancellation of President Francois Hollande’s visit to India starting next week.
The letter comes three days ahead of the French premier’s visit as the chief guest for the 66th Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi on 26 January.
“It was a three-line letter with Al Qaeda written below it. After the embassy approached us, we took permission from the court to proceed with the complaint. We tried to locate the address but it was fake," Charan Reddy, additional commissioner for law and order, Bengaluru police said on Thursday.
Hollande scaled up France’s participation in the fight against the Syria-based Islamic State (IS) terror group by ordering French warplanes to bomb IS strongholds after terror attacks in Paris killed more than 130 people in November 2015.
Senior police officials said the letter was posted from Chennai. A case has been registered at Bengaluru’s High Grounds Police station on 14 January 2016.
“The Consulate General of France in Bengaluru has received a threat letter. It is not the first time that a French representation abroad has received this kind of letter. The Consulate has informed the Indian police of this letter, whose authenticity is yet to be established," the French Embassy in New Delhi said on Thursday.
Security agencies in India have been on high alert, not only in preparation for Hollande’s visit but also in light of a terrorist attack on the Indian Air Force station in Pathankot (Punjab) earlier this month in which seven security personnel and all six militants were killed.