Hyderabad blast SIM card traced to J'khand

Updated on May 21, 2007 05:51 PM IST
The police pick up a mobile phone shop owner in Jharkhand for allegedly selling a SIM card recovered from a phone connected to one of the unexploded bombs, reports Amitabh Srivastava.
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None | ByAmitabh Srivastava, Ranchi

The West Bengal Police have picked up one Mohammed Shahid, a mobile phone shop owner from Jamtara district in Jharkhand for allegedly selling the Hutch SIM card, which was recovered from a mobile phone connected to one of the unexploded bombs in the mosque premises in Hyderabad on Friday.

Jharkhand Additional Director General of Police (Special Branch) Gaurishankar Rath, however, said Shahid was not arrested, as he was "apparently cooperating with the investigators."

Shahid, a resident of Mihijam locality of Jamtara district, runs a mobile phone shop at Rupnarayanpur locality under Chittaranjan Township of the adjoining Bardhaman district in West Bengal.

Shahid has confirmed having sold the SIM card to one Babulal Yadav in June 2006. This is one of the two SIM cards that the police recovered from mobile phones connected to an unexploded bomb. Police are, however, convinced that the name Babulal Yadav is a fictitious one.

"Although, the West Bengal Police have not shared details with us, we have been told that he would be released," Rath told Hindustan Times on Monday.

"Shahid has been taken to Kolkata where the sleuths from West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh are interrogating him. He would be released soon," Jamtara DSP Rajaram Prasad said.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of West Bengal is assisting a police team from Hyderabad to probe Friday's blast at the Mecca Masjid.

Incidentally, both Jharkhand and Bihar have no coverage for Hutch SIM cards, and Shahid must have kept it with him for customers from West Bengal.

"The buyer had submitted photocopies of a driving license issued in Babulal Yadav’s name as identity proof to procure the SIM card. We are in the process of varifying the document," said a police officer in Jamtara.

"Shahid initially said he does not recall the details about the person whom he sold the SIM card. However, he has identified the photograph of the buyer. The police have also seized his shop’s sale-register that has the photograph of the SIM card buyer," the officer said.

11 worshippers were killed and over 50 were injured on Friday when a powerful blast ripped through a heavy congregation at the historic Mecca Masjid near Charminar, the 400-year-old symbol of Hyderabad.

Information from the slightly damaged but still verifiable SIM card, recovered from the mobile phone used as the detonating device has led the police reach Mohammad Shahid at Mihijam locality in Jamtara district of Jharkhand on Sunday.

According to police, a very sophisticated technology was used to detonate the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) filled with a mixture of RDX and TNT in Hyderabad. "A phone call from anywhere in the world to the mobile attached to the IED is enough to trigger the blast," said an officer.

Police sources said they hope to make some more progress by tracing the calls made or received from the mobile phone that used the SIM card.

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