Saturday, May 24, 2014

Did cops forget to monitor PCOs after train blasts?

Mumbai: The state anti-terrorism squad (ATS) may now be claiming that a public call office (PCO) in Nagpada was the “command outpost“ for the 11/7 train blasts, but it seems to have forgotten to implement its own rules for their greater monitoring. The city cops said in December 2012, they issued directives to more than 60,000 PCO owners to maintain a register of those who make calls. But the directive has not reached the lane from where, according to the prosecution, the command post was handled.
The prosecution in the special MCOCA court conducting the blasts trial claimed a PCO on Shuklaji Street near Fauzia nursing home was used as the post.
But till a year ago, when the accused sought call data records (CDR) of mobiles to prove their innocence, the police said the records were not with them and the court ordered four mobile companies to provide them. Defence advocate Wahab Khan on Friday said, “We have used CDRs to show the accused, including alleged main conspirator Azam Cheema, were never in touch with anybody in Pakistan. This is contrary to what the investigating agency has said while seeking the remand of the accused.“
When TOI visited Shuklaji Street on Friday , there were three PCOs, one opposite the nursing home, where one of the accused, Dr Tanvir, worked till 2000. “There were 15 to 18 PCOs. But with the emergence of mobile, we hardly have business now. People don't come to our shops,“ said a PCO owner. He said he was unaware of the police's directives.
In the last two years, the police chief 's main control room received at least two threat calls, both made from public call offices.

The Times of India, May 24, 2014

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