Two detained in Gujarat after survey raises suspicion

December 10th, 2008 - 10:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, Dec 10 (IANS) Two men, preparing a survey of an area near Jamnagar, have been detained by the Gujarat police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) for questioning though their employer insists they had all requisite clearances from authorities.Mahesh Parab and Anil Jagtap, software engineers with Mumbai-based Biond Softwares Pvt Ltd, were detained Monday from near Khambaliya, close to Jamnagar, after some villagers found their survey work suspicious and reported them to the police.

The villagers were alarmed in particular by a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking device on the rooftop of their car.

The 10 terrorists who struck Mumbai Nov 26 had used the GPS device to navigate from Karachi to Mumbai, according to investigators. With Gujarat being on the terror radar, police preferred to err on the side of caution and detained them.

The two professionals told the Jamnagar police they were doing the survey since Dec 5 and that was to continue till Dec 15.

ATS officials have kept the two in their custody here and are awaiting a report from forensic experts who were probing their laptop and car.

ATS superintendent Girish Singhal told IANS Wednesday: “We cannot say anything now about the guilt or otherwise of the two men. Inquiry is still on and it will take one or two days more before we can say whether they are given a clean chit.”

Biond Softwares director Milind Dalvi, who came here and met the ATS officials, explained: “We have been commissioned by Nokia Navigator to do survey of major roads, terrain mapping and tourists destinations in the country using a GPS system.

“Our employees had come from Punjab after completing a survey there and since they had a CD of (photographs of the India-Pakistan joint check post at) Wagah border which was bought for Rs.20 and several photos of theirs taken at many tourists spots both in Punjab and Gujarat, they became a target of suspicion,” Dalvi told IANS from Mumbai by telephone.

“I came to Ahmedabad Tuesday and met ATS chief DIG (Deputy Inspector General) Ajay Tomar and ATS superintendent Girish Singhal and showed them all the correspondence between the Ministry of Defence and us on this project,” he said.

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