World Cup threat: Cops to keep tabs on new SIM cardshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/world-cup-threat-cops-to-keep-tabs-on-new-sim-cards/

World Cup threat: Cops to keep tabs on new SIM cards

Gujrat Police will keep tabs on all prepaid sim cards sold in the state this month and track all suspicious calls in view of the terror threat over the ICC World Cup matches in Ahmedabad

Gujrat Police will keep tabs on all prepaid sim cards sold in the state this month and track all suspicious calls in view of the terror threat over the ICC World Cup matches in Ahmedabad.

According to an order issued by Director General of Police Chitranjan Singh,all cellular service providers in Gujarat will have to

furnish particulars — details of the buyers,ID proofs and pre-sale verifications — of prepaid cards sold,to the respective local police chiefs.

Cards sold to any prima facie suspicious person will be put on call tracking to check the calls made,particularly to other states and neighbouring countries. The state Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) will be called in if required.

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Ahmedabad has played host to two World Cup matches and will host the quarter finals on March 24.

Senior officers said the police received a terror alert from the Intelligence Bureau about a possible Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) attack during the cricket matches.

They added that this was the first time that cellular service providers have been put under such close watch to track prepaid connections.

Chitranjan Singh told The Indian Express: “We will be looking at how many prepaid cards were sold and who all bought those. Terrorists and other elements often use prepaid cards for temporary use and destroy the sims thereafter.”

He said that after collating the data from all commissionerates and district police units in Gujarat,officers will sift through the list of buyers.

“We will see how many need to be probed more,and how many need to be trapped immediately. We are taking this as one

of the prime precautions needed in view of the terror alert,besides the physical security part,” he added.

Last year,former DGP S S Khandwawala had asked CID (Crime) to be the nodal police agency to collect and keep track on all mobile numbers in use in the state,but this effort is still underway.

A state Intelligence officer said: “The IB input specifies that some 10 LeT terrorists trained in explosives plan to enter India through the Gujarat coast and may foment trouble during the World Cup and the IPL matches.”

“The alert also says that terrorists might put together low-intensity explosives — using common household items and those easily available in the local markets — to cause stampedes. Although this is unheard of,we are trying to ascertain what common market products they may possibly use,” said the officer,adding that the other agencies guarding the coasts — the state marine police,Indian Coast Guard and the Navy are also on an alert.