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Cellphones and investigation Law & order


Mobile phones have helped police in cracking several cases, writes
K.V. Subramanya

THE RECENT arrest of a six-member gang that allegedly robbed a real estate agency staff of Rs. 10 lakh cash at gunpoint on Castle Street has again showed that the advent of mobile phone has not only made communication easier and faster but also helped the police in cracking some major crimes.

After obtaining the mobile phone number of one of the suspects, the police tracked the phone and eventually arrested him and his two accomplices from a cinema in Thiruvananthapuram. Later, the police arrested their three accomplices in Bangalore and Madikeri. An officer connected with the investigation said tracing the gang would not have been possible if not for the mobile phone.

A look at some of the important crimes detected by the city police in the past few years show that in many cases, where there were hardly any leads, the investigators succeeded in tracing the suspects solely on the basis of call details of mobile phones.

The most important of such detections was in the murder of realtor Subbaraju. He was shot dead at his office on Seshadripuram Main Road in Vyalikaval police station limits in January 2000.

The two sharpshooters, who had shot at Subbaraju, inadvertently dropped their mobile phone while escaping in an autorickshaw. It was the details of calls made from and to the mobile phone that gave the clue to the police that the Mumbai underworld had a role in the realtor’s killing. Subsequently, the police arrested Yusuf Bachkana who had shot at the realtor. He was later convicted by a city court.

Some time ago, the Fraser Town police arrested Manjunath alias Raju (18) who had allegedly murdered Kaladevi Chandramani (78) in Sindhi Colony. The police, who had no leads, by chance got the mobile phone number of her domestic help Manjunath, and found that he had made several calls to a number in Muddenahalli in Arkalagud taluk of Hassan district. A police team that went to Muddenahalli gathered information about Manjunath and arrested him at Saligrama in K.R. Nagar taluk.

Even in the sensational case of software engineer Girish, who was killed near the viewpoint on Koramangala Ring Road, certain SMSs that were sent to the “hired killers” from his fiancée’s mobile phone, provided vitals leads which led to the arrest of the accused.

If the police were able to catch a software engineer, who a few years ago had made an anonymous call that bombs had been planted at the office of the IT major Wipro on Mahatma Gandhi Road, it was because of a mobile phone.

The engineer had called the mobile phone of a Wipro executive and had told him that bombs were planted in the IT firm. The telephone number of a coin-operated booth, from which the hoax call was made, was displayed on the executive’s mobile phone. The police promptly traced and arrested the engineer.

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