Four terrorists, including Tehseen Akhtar who was the chief of Indian Mujahideen and one of the accused in the Mumbai blasts case of 2011, were allegedly using the cellphone from inside Tihar jail on which the Telegram channel of purported terror outfit Jaish-Ul-Hind was created to claim responsibility for parking an SUV with gelatin sticks outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence in Mumbai last month.
Police suspect the conspiracy was hatched by Akhtar after coordinating with four more terrorists lodged in a Mumbai jail, The Indian Express has learnt.
The cellphone was recovered from the barrack of Akhtar, who had been heading Indian Mujahideen since the arrest of its co-founder Yasin Bhatkal in 2013, during a search operation conducted by Tihar authorities on Thursday night, police said.
Police are also probing the role of Akhtar alias Monu in connection with another Telegram message that was sent in connection with the low intensity IED blast near the Israel Embassy in Delhi on January 29. “We suspect that whole conspiracy was hatched by Akhtar and he was in constant touch with four more people lodged in a Mumbai jail. We are probing their role and have moved an application before a Delhi Court for his production warrant,” police sources said.
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Akhtar is one of the accused in the chargesheet filed by Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) in connection with the terror attack in Mumbai in July 2011 that led to the death of 27 people and injured 130 others. He has been charged for conspiracy and placing explosives in the case, and the trial is underway at the special MCOCA court in Mumbai.
The “13/7 blasts” were a series of coordinated bomb explosions at Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar and Dadar, where Akhtar is alleged to have placed an explosive atop the bus stop.
On Thursday morning, The Indian Express reported that a private cyber firm, which was deployed by an investigating agency, had tracked the phone’s location to Tihar and that the finding has been communicated to the Delhi Police Special Cell.
“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,” DCP (special cell) Pramod Kushwah said.
Police sources told The Indian Express that the four convicted prisoners lodged in Jail No. 8 were using the phone number that had been under technical surveillance for the past 20 days.
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