THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: ‘Njan ninte thanthayada… thantha!’, Mohanlal’s anonymous call to Doordarshan in ‘Adhipan’ still remains a popular rib-tickler among film buffs. A stupor can make people do stupid things. Not all, however, get away as our sloshed Lalettan did on screen.
Last week, a court in Kochi sentenced a 42-year-old man to three years imprisonment for making over 300 crank calls to the Ernakulam Vanitha Police Station and verbally abusing officers. A native of Thumba in Thiruvananthapuram, Jose R, was found guilty of charges including demanding sexual favours and causing a nuisance.
The case culminated in conviction, thanks to meticulous evidence gathering by Sub-Inspector Anas V B, who is currently posted at Kochi cyber police.
It all started on a bright afternoon in July 2019, when the landline at the women’s police station started ringing. The civil police officer who attended the call was stunned as the caller hurled abusive words and demanded sexual favours.
He also asked for her personal number. She ended the call, assuming that it was a one-off anonymous call. However, the guy was relentless, he called 309 times till the next day, forcing the officers to keep the call receiver away from the phone.
Usually, the police ignore random anonymous calls. But this one was bizarre, and a complaint was lodged at the Ernakulam North Police Station, where Anas was assigned to investigate the incident. “First, we approached the cyber cell and retrieved the call data records,” he recalls. “We identified the caller, Jose, and his mobile tower location. We nabbed him from a lodge in Kaloor.”
Arresting an accused is just one part of a case investigation; only strong evidence would lead to a conviction. For Anas, it was a serious case. He was determined to not let the accused get off lightly.
Investigation revealed that Jose was a serial offender, with similar cases registered at Kadavanthra and Palluruthy police stations. “Women officers were his targets,” says Anas. “He made calls to police stations, and if a woman officer picked up, he would verbally abuse her.”
During interrogation, Jose confessed that his targets included some senior officers, whom he had called on their official phone numbers. “He used to call after getting intoxicated by liquor and narcotic substances,” Anas notes. “He continued with this obsessive ritual after getting out on bail. He was arrested again in Thiruvananthapuram recently, and is currently behind bars.”
Besides vetted call records and SIM card details, Anas presented a third piece of evidence, which proved to be crucial. On noting that Jose had been using a call record app on his mobile, the officer collected the recorded voice clips and sent them for forensic analysis.
“Later, we recorded the voice samples of both the accused and the woman officer, who was the complainant in the case,” Anas explains. “The voices were confirmed to match the samples from Jose’s mobile phone. We got an expert to certify the report based on this analysis before submitting it as evidence in court.”
After routine legal rigmarole, the case ended in conviction. Anas is happy. “Jose was acquitted in two similar cases earlier due to a lack of strong evidence,” he points out.