Updated: March 15, 2021 4:49:53 pm
A search operation was conducted by the Tihar jail authorities on Thursday night, during which a cell-phone was recovered from the barrack of Tehseen Akhtar alias Monu, a suspected key Indian Mujahideen operative. Police suspect that he was using the phone on which a Telegram channel of purported terror outfit Jaish Ul Hind was created. The outfit claimed responsibility for parking an SUV with gelatine sticks and a threat note outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence in Mumbai last month.
DCP (special cell) Pramod Kushwah said, “Based on information provided by the Special Cell, Tihar Jail authorities have seized a mobile phone from a jail where certain terror convicts are lodged. It is suspected that this phone has been used for operating Telegram Channels used recently for claiming responsibility for terror acts and threats. Further investigation and forensic analysis will be done after the mobile handset and details of the seizure are received from Tihar Jail authorities.”
Tehseen allegedly involved in several bomb attacks, including blasts in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Varanasi, was the chief of IM since the arrest of its co-founder Yasin Bhatkal in 2013. “After taking legal opinion, the police are going to move an application before the Delhi Court for the production warrant of the suspect in coming days,” a source said.
Sources said the phone was being used by multiple prisoners, including Tehseen for the last three-and-half months. “On Thursday, officers from Delhi Police’s Special Cell searched the jail complex and questioned several undertrial prisoners. But at that time, all prisoners were outside their barracks and it was difficult to conduct any search. Later, they informed the jail authorities about the cell-phone and a search operation was conducted after they all came back to their barracks,” police sources said.
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Official sources said a private cyber firm had been asked by an investigating agency to track the location of the phone on which the Jaish Ul Hind Telegram channel was created. During the investigation, they found that the channel was allegedly created inside Tihar jail.
Sources said several numbers operating from inside the jail had earlier been put under technical surveillance by the Special Cell. Recently, after it emerged that the Jaish Ul Hind Telegram channel was created through TOR network, which is used to access the dark web, the intelligence agency shared the IP address of one phone with the Delhi Police.
“Police were monitoring phone calls, but they were not aware of the Internet activity happening from the same number. However, with the help of the IP address, they tracked down the IMEI and came to know that both the activities [calling and Internet] were happening from the same number. The number was operating from inside the jail and several undertrials were using it. With the help of technical surveillance, police zeroed in on Tehseen,” a police source said, adding that they are verifying all details as the phone was used by multiple people.
“The Telegram channel was created around 3.20 pm on February 26 (day after the security scare outside Ambani’s residence). The message claiming responsibility for the security scare outside Antilia was posted on the Telegram channel late on February 27 night, also demanded money from the Ambanis, and included a link for payment through cryptocurrency,” a police source said.
On February 28, another group claiming to be Jaish Ul Hind posted a message on a different Telegram channel claiming that the message was not put out by them and denying any role in the incident. The police suspect that this message was sent from outside the country although they have not been able to pin the location.
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