Satellite phone calls tracked again, high alert in Karnataka

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Bengaluru: The intelligence agencies have alerted the Karnataka government after they tracked satellite phone calls made to foreign locations from the coastal area and Malnad region of the state, sources said on Saturday.

The phone calls are being tracked to Mudibidre, Mudipu regions in Dakshina Kannada, in dense forest regions of Uttara Kannada and another two locations from Chikkamagaluru district in the state.

As many as five phone calls have been traced since last week. After the targeted killings in Jammu and Kashmir, central agencies have told Karnataka authorities to be vigilant about the new developments.

Central agencies have gathered information about suspected anti-national activities taking place in coastal districts -- Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Chikkamaglur and Shivamogga districts in Malnad region of Karnataka. The use of satellite phones have been detected by intelligence agencies for a long time.

Use of satellite phones has been tracked for the third time in a year in Karnataka. The issue was raised in the assembly and Home Minister Araga Jnanendra gave detailed answers that the government is handling the situation in coordination with central agencies including Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

Intelligence agencies suspect if anti-national forces are activating sleeper cells in the state. The phone calls being made despite intelligence agencies being on alert in the state. The agencies are tracking the sources.

Araga Jnanendra had said on the floor of the House that 476 calls made through satellite phones since 2020 have been tracked to foreign locations.

After the Mumbai attack in 2008, use of satellite phones has been banned by the Directorate General of Shipping. There were 256 instances of satellite phone usage in 2020 and 220 this year in the state, Aragra Jnanendra said.


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