Ambani bomb scare probe: Delhi govt seeks report regarding seizure of mobile phone from Tihar Jail

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New Delhi, Mar 12 (PTI) The Delhi government has sought a report from the director general of Delhi Prisons regarding the seizure of a mobile phone from Tihar Jail, after the police approached jail authorities in connection with the Mukesh Ambani bomb scare probe.

Tihar Jail authorities have seized a mobile phone which is suspected to have been used for operating a Telegram channel used to claim responsibility for terror acts/ threats, the Delhi Police said on Friday.

The police said the mobile phone was recovered from a barrack in Central Jail No 8 of Tihar where Tehseen Akhtar alias Monu, who was the chief of terror outfit Indian Mujahideen was lodged. He shares the barrack with other inmates.

Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain told reporters that a probe has been ordered into the matter and action will be taken against anyone found to be at fault.

Jain has also written to the DG (Prisons) in this regard and sought a report about seizure of a mobile phone from the jail.

On Thursday, a senior Mumbai Police official had said a Telegram channel through which an organisation named Jaish-ul-Hind had claimed responsibility for placing an explosives-laden SUV near industrialist Ambani's residence in Mumbai last month was 'created in the Tihar' area of Delhi.

The Delhi Police's Special Cell had approached the Tihar Jail administration on Thursday after the new angle emerged, according to official sources.

Director General (Delhi Prisons) Sandeep Goel said, 'Based on the information shared with us by the Special Cell, a search operation was conducted inside the jail premises on Thursday.' Jail sources, however, said suring the search operation, two mobile phones were recovered from the barrack in Central Jail No 8 of Tihar where Akhtar is also lodged along with other inmates.

'A search operation was conducted on Thursday night and two mobile phones were recovered from the barrack where Akhtar is put up. He shares the barrack with other inmates.

'Both the mobile phones have been handed over to the special cell team of Delhi Police in connection with their probe. It is suspected that the phones was being used by multiple prisoners, including Akhtar,' the jail sources said.

Tehseen Akhtar, who is among the key suspects likely to be questioned in connection with the probe, was arrested in 2014 by the Special Cell of Delhi Police. He was then heading the Indian Mujahideen after the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal, co-founder of the terror outfit.

'Based on information provided by the Special Cell, Tihar Jail authorities have seized a mobile phone from a jail where certain terror convicts are lodged. It is suspected that this phone has been used for operating Telegram channels used recently for claiming responsibility for terror acts/ threats,' Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwah said.

Earlier in the day, the officer had said further investigation and forensic analysis will be done after the mobile handset and details of the seizure are received from the Tihar Jail authorities.

The Mumbai Police took the help of a private cyber agency to track the location of the phone on which the Telegram channel was created, the senior Mumbai Police official had said.

During the investigation, the location of the phone was traced near Delhi's Tihar Jail, he had said.

A Mahindra Scorpio SUV with gelatin sticks was found parked near 'Antilia', the multi-storey residence of Ambani, in south Mumbai on February 25.

According to police sources, the Telegram channel was created on February 26 and the message claiming responsibility for placing the vehicle outside Ambani's residence was posted on the Telegram app late in the night on February 27.

The message had also demanded payment in cryptocurrency and mentioned a link to deposit the same.

During the probe, the link was found as 'not available', due to which the investigators suspected it to be mischievous, the official said.

On February 28, another message from Jaish-ul-Hind surfaced on a social media platform, claiming that the organisation did not have any role in the incident.

The investigation in the case was initially conducted by the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police.

After the mysterious death of Thane-based auto parts dealer Mansukh Hiran, who was in possession of the SUV that was later found parked outside Ambani's residence, the probe was transferred to the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).

On Monday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the case related to the recovery of the explosives-laden vehicle. PTI AMP VIT TDS TDS