Man held in Arun Jaitley call details case once helped police trace Afzal Guru


One of the four men arrested by the Delhi Police for illegally accessing call detail records of the mobile phones of BJP leader Arun Jaitley, and possibly others, once helped police and intelligence agencies trace suspects in at least four terror cases, including the 2001 Parliament attack and the 2000 shootout at Red Fort. Police said his parents are former bureaucrats.

Special Cell officers still remember how Anurag Singh, a Maulana Azad Medical College graduate who was more interested in cyberspace than medicine, would sift through the mass of numbers and IP addresses to give them leads in terror probes. He would decode numbers, zero in on locations of suspects and also train agencies to shield their systems from hackers.

"At that time, we were not so sound technically. Anurag's help was sought in major cases involving mobile phones, satellite phones, computers. In the Parliament attack case, we recovered a SIM card. With the help of the IMEI number, he got us the entire phonebook, contacts, call details. For us, it was a new thing then. He helped trace Afzal Guru," an officer said.

Police turned to Anurag for leads in the attack on Red Fort attack. On the night of December 23, 2000, militants scaled the walls of Red Fort and attacked an army camp, killing two army personnel and a guard. Though a quick reaction team was scrambled, the militants escaped into the night.

From the spot, police found a paper slip with a mobile number. It finally led to the arrest of Mohammed Arif alias Ashfaq, a Pakistan national who police said was a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant. He was later sentenced to death.

An officer said police also turned to Anurag for help in two other terror cases of 2003. "He would break into email accounts, intercept phones, use surveillance equipment. He had an answer ready for every cyber query," the officer said, adding that "his intelligence got channelised in the wrong direction".

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