KUTCH: Security agencies have detected a series of phone conversations between a location in Gujarat and Pakistan in a Thuraya satellite phone, setting alarm bell ringing in the Home Ministry.
The agencies have tracked multiple sets of conversations in the Kutch region of Gujarat close to the border and are trying to ascertain the precise location of the other end in Pakistan, official sources said.
Security agencies are taking the conversations seriously as the Thuraya satellite phones are banned in India and these conversations could be linked to Pakistan-based terrorist groups.
The Thuraya satellite phone company is based in the United Arab Emirates and it provides mobile coverage to more than 110 countries in Europe, the Middle East, North, Central and East Africa, Asia and Australia.
Police said signals were traced to Siyot village in Lakhpat taluka of Kutch district, which falls under the notified zone -- or areas adjoining the Indo-Pakistan border with restrictions on the movement of outsiders.
Police were asked to scan the area based on the coordinates provided by the security agencies.
The sparsely-populated village to which the signals were traced is situated some 50-60 km away from the border and is under constant monitoring by security agencies.
Senior police officials said while satellite phone signals are not unusual in these areas as they are sometimes sent out by aeroplanes flying overhead or from ships docked at nearby Kandla port, the matter is being taken seriously given security alerts issued by the Intelligence Bureau regarding entry of terrorists from Pakistan via the Gujarat border.
The only way to trace any satellite phone is by inspecting a particular area and physically locating it, officials said.
Currently, a Pakistani team is visiting India in connection with the probe into the terror attack on Pathankot airbase.