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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Sandhya Singh murder : Mobile phone records misled cops

Mohamed Thaver, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 17, 2013
First Published: 10:28 IST(17/7/2013) | Last Updated: 10:30 IST(17/7/2013)

Technical surveillance used to trace the location of mobile phones has more often than not helped the police solve crime cases.

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However, that very tool made them go haywire while investigating the Sandhya Singh murder case.

The Mumbai crime branch, which had made a rough map of Singh’s location on the day of her murder based on the call data records (CDR) of her three mobile phones, have realised that owing to certain topographical features of the locality where the body was found, tracking her phones led them on to wrong information.

An officer privy to the investigation said the CDR showed that Singh had been taken to Ulwe and Uran from NRI complex on December 13, 2012 -- the day of the murder.

Based on this, the police had questioned several people including labourers at building construction sites and auto drivers from the two areas.

“It was only later that we realised that the same location where her body was found had come under the mobile phone towers of Ulwe and Uran,” the officer said. “So, while the location of someone inside the NRI colony compound would show as NRI colony, as soon as you move a few metres out, it will show as Ulwe, though the spot is not in Ulwe.

Similarly, go a few metres farther and the location will then show as Uran. All the while, the actual location could be NRI colony itself.”

So while the location of her mobile phone may show Ulwe and Uran village, Singh was not actually taken there. “Owing to the topographical issue, we have been waylaid a couple of times. Now, we are not relying on technical surveillance and hence, tracking down Singh’s location before her murder has become difficult.”

At present, the police are questioning Singh’s son Raghuveer who has been asked by a Thane court to report to the crime branch office three times a week till Friday, when the court will hear his anticipatory bail application.

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