1 more held for anti-Assamese SMSes

The police on Sunday arrested the fifth member of the gang that circulated hate SMSes that triggered an exodus of Assamese people living in Bangalore from August 15.

Noor was nabbed based on the information provided by Moosa, the fourth member of the group, who was picked up from Kalasipalya on Saturday.

Although the number of arrests in the case rose to five, the police said there were at least 10 more people involved. A manhunt is under way to arrest them.

“A special team is trailing the accused through mobile network. We’ve information about them. But their detention is delayed since they have switched off their mobile phones,” an investigating officer said.

Anees Pasha, a mobile phone operator, was caught by the police with the help of cyber crime experts. Pasha is said to have sent bulk messages to random numbers through a website. Later, he asked his friends to help him circulate the messages using websites, the police said.

The police have arrested Pasha, Tahseen Nawaz, Salman Khan, Moosa and Noor, who, along with others, took turns to circulate the hate messages.

Some of the accused involved in this case are mobile phone technicians well-versed in downloading and browsing free websites, which were used in sending bulk SMSes and free internet calls.

Pasha is said to have taught his friends how to use the free SMS services online and sought their help in carrying out the mission.

Moosa and Noor have been taken into custody to ascertain whether they belonged to any organisation and the reason for launching the hate campaign, additional commissioner of police T Suneel Kumar said.