The police have increasingly come to rely on mobile phone call records following the successful resolution of high-profile criminal cases

A student from Mysore got the shock of his life when a few intelligence officials came knocking on his door asking questions about his relationship with an alleged terror suspect’s family from Madhya Pradesh.

When the student replied in the negative, they asked him his mobile number and details of another mobile number that was in his name.

The officials quickly retreated when the student said the second mobile number was being used by his uncle who was a journalist in Bangalore. It seems that the journalist had called the terror suspect’s family for an interview.

This incident, that occurred six years ago, makes it apparent that investigation officers now rely on tracking mobile phone locations.

Right from the infamous fake stamp paper racket, the Malleswaram blast case to the recent murder of an IT company HR manager in HSR Layout, the police have been successful in cracking cases by poring over call record details and signals from mobile towers.

Tracking cases through mobile phones goes back to the STAMPIT (stamp paper investigation team) period when the police stumbled on information that the kingpin Abdul Karim Telgi was continuing his fake stamp paper circulation business across the country from inside the jail using a mobile phone. Tracking the calls, the team conducted raids across the country and exposed the inter-state fake stamp paper scam.

Buoyed by the success, top cops decided to train select officials from their respective jurisdictions to use mobile technology to crack crimes. This move seems to have paid rich dividends as over 95 per cent of cases are solved using mobile technology. With this success rate, each police station now has a technical team with experts in tracking and analyzing call data records (CDR).

Admitting that this technology plays a crucial role in crime investigations, a senior police officer said that the conventional methods of investigation were tedious and time consuming .

Rise in abductions

The city has been witness to at least three abduction cases for ransom in the last fortnight. Fortunately, all ended without much harm to the victims.

A common thread in all cases was that the victims were waylaid on the road late at night, then bundled into cars and beaten up. Ransom was the motive. The victims were forced to give up their valuables. In one case, he was forced to draw money from an ATM kiosk.

Are professional gangs behind this? The police deny this and say that in most cases, amateur youths and first-time offenders were involved. The attacks did not appear pre-planned and looked impulsive.

The city police say they are stymied by limited resources. Recently, 70 patrolling vehicles were inducted into the force. Yet, it is impossible to be present in all places at any one time, they say.

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