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Police struggle to trace origins of hate SMSes

August 23, 2012 11:21 IST

Even as Pakistan seeks proof of their hand in the panic campaign, which led to the exodus of people from north-east, the police probing these cases is struggling to find the group/persons who generated these messages.

The government has gone about banning websites while the police in Bengaluru and Pune continue to question people who sent out the messages.

In Bengaluru, a person by the name Anees Pasha and three others are under the scanner while in Pune the police continue to question four persons in its custody.

Pasha was the first catch for the Bengaluru police. His questioning led to the arrest of three more persons.

It came to light during the investigation that Pasha, who owns a mobile phone shop, himself sent out over 4,000 hate messages.

Pasha specialises in mobile phone repair and interestingly a lot of police personnel sought his services when they had issues with their cell phones.

In Pune, the police have nabbed four persons and have found inflammatory messages on their mobile phones.

Even in this case the problem is similar. The police have got leads to other persons, but are unable to ascertain as to whether they belong to a particular group or not.

Central intelligence agencies, on the other hand, have put some organisations under the scanner and say that some of their people helped circulate the messages.

In Pune and Bengaluru, police have not yet found a direct foreign link from where the messages could have originated.

Police sources in both these cities, which have taken the help of the cyber cell, say that they will need to arrest more persons in order to ascertain the trail.

Besides this the police are planning on questioning a few more people who have received these messages apart from checking out the logs on the phones with the help of the respective service providers.

In Bengaluru, initial probe has revealed that Pasha had sent out the messages just to spread panic. He does not have any direct link with any group and decided to forward the messages that he got on his phone.

Thanks to his expertise, he sent out a few thousand messages and this started to spread like wild fire.

The police, for the moment feel that this is an individual operation. However, they say that they will track Pasha's source in order to find out who was really behind it.

Pasha has been booked for inciting communal tensions.

Investigators say that the messages were sent from a foreign country in bulk to many persons in India, who in turn forwarded the messages.

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru