Staff Reporter

PATHANAMTHITTA: The unearthing of an unauthorised telephone exchange by the police in Thiruvalla on Friday exposes the increasing instance of misuse of telecommunication technology by vested interests.

Why four of the accused from Malappuram chose the Central Travancore town of Thiruvalla for setting up the illegal phone exchange appears to puzzle the police. The investigation is progressing and more arrests will be made soon, the police said.

According to Circle Inspector K.B. Prafullachandran, who is investigating the case, four Malappuram youths, Sameel, Muhamed Razaque, Hassankutty and Shameer, had been operating the illegal exchange from Ebenezer Hostel situated close to Mar Athanasisos College For Advanced Studies in Thiruvalla (MACFAST) from July. Sameel (23) was arrested during a raid on the hostel on Friday. He is reported to have confessed to the police that somebody from Malappuram had installed the equipment and that he was engaged by the person.

The police also arrested Shaji T. Varghese, system administrator of the college, following the raid.

The police officer said the equipment could be possessed only with prior authorisation and licence from the Union Government.