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Militants used cell phones of VIPs in J&K: Source

Militants used cell phones of VIPs in J&K: Source

Author: PTI
Publication: The Times of India
Date: July 16, 2008
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Militants_used_mobiles_of_VIPs_in_JK/articleshow/3239334.cms

Militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir are using cell phones of high-profile people, including a former MLA, who work as their overground workers, to communicate and receive orders from their Pakistan-based headquarters, intelligence agencies have said.

"Militant commanders used cell phones of 51 persons, including a former MLA, for their conversations with Pak-based headquarters and other commanders in Jammu and Kashmir. They are under the scanner," a top official of an intelligence agency who did not wished to be named said.

"It is a serious issue that the ultras are using mobile network-centric communication to carry forward their messages and tasks, particularly on the mobiles of important people, including village heads and sarpanchs," he said, adding that a detail report has been prepared in this connection including the mobile numbers used by the militant commanders.

The report said the mobile numbers provided by the intelligence were checked and call details recovered revealed that the ultras were trying to expand their overground workers' "militant-mobile-communication-network" base.

"This network is expanding and used to a great extent in remote areas of Rajouri, Reasi, Doda and Udhampur districts of Jammu and Kashmir in particular," the official said.

He said district commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) Farooq Ahmed Naik alias Imran Ladoo received calls three times on the cell phone of a former MLA. He, however, declined to name the former legislator.

The intelligence wing has got hold of the conversation details and sent the report to higher authorities, the official said and added that "we are monitoring these cell phones".

Over 60 cell phones, mostly belonging to remote and rural subscribers who worked overground for the militants, were also under surveillance, he said.

Besides, Hizb commander Farooq Naik, intelligence sources have identified commanders of Lashker-e-Toiba, Hizb, JeM and HMPPR used the mobile phones of high profile people. They said the report also contained names of owners of the cell phones that were used by the militants.

"This is very serious issue that militants are developing a major mobile network and conveying messages easily on the overground workers' chain. More serious is use of numbers of VIPs," another official said.

"This is an issue that is confronting the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir now," he said.

Use of VIP's numbers can pose a high level of security threat to top leaders and VVIPs of the country, as militants have the capability to trigger mobile phone explosions through a simple call, he said.

"This situation is posing more challenges to the security forces," the official said, adding that security agencies have prepared a list of suspected mobile phone owners in mountainous, remote and rural areas of Kishtwar, Doda, Reasi, Ramban and Rajouri districts who are aiding the ultras.

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