Being imprisoned in Baramulla jail in North Kashmir has come as a blessing in disguise for the jailed separatist leader Masarat Alam. Alam enjoys possession of multiple smartphones duly equipped with internet connectivity and uses these services to stay in touch with his Pakistani cohorts, InUth learned from reliable sources.
While earlier this month, police seized as many as 14 mobile phones from the jail inmates, the subsequent investigations have hinted at a major security lapse in the highly fortified prison. The phones are understood to have reached Alam and others in 2016.
The top sources informed InUth that Masarat Alam who is serving his term in the jail used at least three phones to communicate with his “handlers” in the neighboring country through WhatsApp, Viber, and Skype.
Apart from frequent text messaging, Alam also held regular video conference sessions with militant groups, mainly on Thursdays and Fridays. A full video clip of the prison interiors was also sent to Pakistan.
Forensic labs have discovered Alam’s fingerprints on the phones while over 1000 chat sessions and 50 secret WhatsApp groups have been discovered from the phone log.
“We are investigating if he had contacts with the local militants in Kashmir as well, as the phone details have come as a windfall of valuable information for us,” said a senior police official, investigating the case. He further added that the information dug out from the phones has come as ” a goldmine for intelligence agencies” and is likely to help the police track down local militants in Kashmir. “We have got some of their crucial contacts,” he said.
Apart from the state police, some central investigating agencies are also probing the matter while a detailed report would send to the Union Home ministry later in April.
Sources revealed that the Senior Superintendent of Police Baramulla, Imtiyaz Hussain had got inputs about the use of phones from the jail. Subsequently, during a surprise inspection undertaken by Baramulla police and the jail authorities, the seizure took place.
On April 2, in a major crackdown, police had seized the mobile phones from the detainees including those held on the charges of militancy and stone-pelting, merely days after the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that Pakistan uses social media to fuel unrest in Kashmir.
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