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ATS traces 6 suspect numbers to Indore, Ahmedabad

July 20, 2011 19:30 IST

Investigators probing the 13/7 Mumbai attacks are hoping to secure some leads from six suspicious numbers, some of which have been traced to Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

It is common practice for investigating agencies to scan scores of phone calls that were made around the time of the blast, especially the duration before and after the blast. Investigators are believed to have scanned through over 1.5 lakh phone calls that were made from the areas of Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House. Most of the calls that were analysed were made between 6.40 pm and 7.30pm.

With the help of technical experts and sophisticated software, an overwhelming number of telephonic exchanges were scanned; following which six numbers were shortlisted. During the scanning process, it was revealed that five calls, in quick succession, were made to one particular number in Indore, while one caller was in touch with another number in Ahmedabad's Juhapura area. The Ahmedabad number was traced to the Vejalpur tower.

The police are following up the Juhapura lead on priority because of its history of harboring Indian Mujahideen suspects. Of the several operatives arrested by the Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad, three key operatives – Alamjeb, Afridi and Tausif are originally residents of Juhapura. Furthermore, Juhapura also served as a quasi headquarters for the perpetrators of July 2008 Gujarat serial bombings.

Meanwhile, sources within the investigating team say that they are hoping against hope because so far they have not been able to spot any electronic chatter, either before or after the blast.

Verification of the numbers is underway and both the Madhya Pradesh ATS and Gujarat ATS are expected to revert to Maharashtra ATS with information. 

Toral Varia in Mumbai