Mobile phone seized from Tihar jail in Ambani bomb scare probe

In a joint search operation inside the Tihar Jail on Thursday, the Delhi Police Special Cell seized a mobile phone from the spot where terror convicts are lodged.

The recovered phone is suspected to have been used for operating a Telegram channel allegedly used to claim responsibility for terror acts/threats, said Pramod Singh Kushwah, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell).

The officer said that further investigation and forensic analysis would be done after the mobile handset and details of the seizure are received from Tihar Jail authorities.

This comes a day after the Special Cell approached the Tihar Jail administration in connection with the case.

A Telegram channel through which an organisation named Jaish-ul-Hind had claimed responsibility for placing an explosives-laden SUV near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence was “created in Tihar” area of Delhi, said a senior police official.

Mumbai Police took the help of a private cyber agency to track the location of the phone on which the Telegram channel was created, the senior Mumbai Police official said. During the investigation, the location of the phone was traced near Delhi’s Tihar Jail, he added.

A Mahindra Scorpio SUV with gelatin sticks was found parked near Antilia, the multi-storey residence of Mr. Ambani, in south Mumbai on February 25.

According to police sources, the Telegram channel was created on February 26 and the message claiming responsibility for placing the vehicle outside Mr. Ambani’s residence was posted on the Telegram messaging app late in the night on February 27. The message had also demanded payment in cryptocurrency and mentioned a link to deposit the same.

During the probe, the link was found as “not available”, due to which the investigators suspected it to be mischievous, the official said.

On February 28, another message from Jaish-ul-Hind surfaced on a social media platform, claiming that the organisation did not have any role in the incident.

The investigation in the case was initially conducted by the Crime Branch of the Mumbai police.

After the mysterious death of Thane-based auto parts dealer Mansukh Hiran, who was in possession of the SUV that was later found parked outside Mr. Ambani’s residence, the probe was transferred to the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).

On March 8, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the case related to the recovery of the explosives-laden vehicle.

(With inputs from PTI)

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