Militants ‘forged’ ID of Army man to buy SIM, set off cell-bomb
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A J&K police investigation into a militant attack, where a roadside bomb was triggered by a mobile phone in Baramulla last year — the first such attack in the Valley — has sent alarm bells ringing across the security establishment. It has been found that militants fraudulently procured the cellphone's Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card on a fake Army man's name, photograph in uniform, unit name, address and even faked a certificate with a stamp of his superior, a Lieutenant Colonel.
On December 27, aiming at an Army convoy, militants had triggered an improvised explosive device planted along the national highway in the outskirts of Baramulla. The bomb missed its target and injured three pedestrians. A police team found pieces of a mobile phone amid the debris. The discovery rattled security agencies: the bomb was detonated by dialing the mobile phone attached to the hidden IED, pressing a three-digit code that triggered it instantaneously.
Although the handset was damaged, its SIM was intact. A probe found that it was registered with Airtel in the name of Madan Rana, son of Anil Rana, resident of Calcutta, 408 Field Ambulance C/O 56 APO.
The card (phone number 9906817469) was bought from Airtel's retail outlet in Tappar, not far from the site of the explosion. In fact, the registration form for the SIM had a photograph of an Army man in uniform and was stamped by one Lt Col D Mundiran of 408 Field Ambulance.
"We checked and it is all fake. The unit is not posted in the valley and there is no personnel with such name in 408 Field Ambulance unit. They are Army Medical Corps doctors and there has been no Lt Colonel D Mundiran there,'' Defence spokesman Col. A K Mathur told The Indian Express. "It is mischief. Somebody with a little bit of knowledge about the Army has faked all this."
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