NE exodus: B'lore-based cellphone repairer sent 20,000 msgs

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Bangalore, Aug 22: With the country witnessing worst internal displacement in recent times when people from the North East region travelled back to their respective states in a wave of panic, the matter seems to be subsiding after the police and other officials launched an intensive probe into the incident. The SMSes and MMSes that are believed to have triggered a fear psychosis is understood to be the handiwork of some radical elements with an intention to spread fear and distress among people from the region.

The Bangalore police had arrested three persons for sending and forwarding these inflammatory messages, the main accused being a 26-year-old cellphone repairman named Anees Pasha. He reportedly sent these inciting SMSes and MMSes to as many as 20,000 people using multiple SIM cards and cellphones, as per preliminary investigations.

The Bangalore police have sought the help of a cyber forensics lab at the Cyber Crimes Cell to retrieve details of all the messages sent by the three arrested people in the case.

According to the police, Pasha has been accused of "spreading rumours through SMS and uploading videos through electronic means inciting hatred and emotional outrage against people of the Northeast".

The police also claimed that Pasha was a highly skilled in repairing cellphones and that they had often used his services to retrieve data from cellphones in various other cases.

Sources have been quoted as saying, "We have given all phones and the computer hard disk seized from Pasha's shop to the cyber forensics laboratory to retrieve a log of all SMSes and MMSes sent and received on the phones. We hope to have a better understanding of the extent of the operation with this data."

Police are now on the lookout for the actual person from whom Pasha received the original SMS and MMS that was later forwarded by him to many others.

Police sources added, "Only the arrest of this fourth person who is also from Bangalore can throw light on how organised the disinformation campaign was and whether these people are linked to any disruptive elements. We think that only people somewhere in the middle of the links have been traced. We have to now examine the downward and upward links, going phone number by phone number."

OneIndia News

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