BENGALURU: Terror tweeter Mehdi Masroor Biswas’s phone bill took the Bengaluru police close to his location on Friday, but they had to use additional detective skills before they could arrest him.
The city police, Central Crime Branch and Internal Security Division began working on their clues on Friday morning, soon after British broadcaster Channel 4 aired its story about the shadowy Islamic State publicist. At 7 pm, they set out for Jalahalli, and their operation culminated in the arrest of Biswas from a single-bedroom apartment on the second floor.
Working on information provided by the Intelligence Bureau, the city police gathered details through the day. Biswas’s mobile tower and IP (Internet protocol) address helped them advance in the right direction. A senior police officer who was part of the operation told Express, “We captured him from a four-storey apartment block in Jalahalli.”
It all began with Gangammanagudi policemen in mufti keeping an eye on the street. A team then entered the building and showed Biswas’s photo to the neighbours, but no one identified him. Finally, they sought CCTV footage from the ground floor of the apartment. Anji, in charge of apartment maintenance, recognised Biswas from pictures grabbed from the video footage.
The police first went to studio apartment A29 on the basis of the address they found on Biswas’s mobile bill. The man living there turned out to be a certain Suresh, who neither knew Biswas nor recognise him from the picture in their mobile phone.
Harish, who runs an eatery, was about to down shutters when a police team approached him. “It was about 11.15 pm. Some policemen went inside the building, and I also noticed armed policemen offering cover,” he told Express. He later came to know the police had arrested a terror supporter.
Hariprasad, son of the building’s owner, said Biswas had initially rented studio apartment A29 on April 2013 before moving to the single-bedroom A14 on the second floor in November 2014.
Prabhakaran, who lives in the first floor, was watching TV when policemen in civilian clothes showed him a photo. Neither him nor the others could provide details. Finally, the building maintenance man identified Biswas, and he was nabbed.