J&K Police carrying out IPDR analysis of phones seized from PDP leader Waheed Parra

NIA had re-registered the case as RC-01/2020/NIA/JMU and had taken over the investigation. NIA had earlier filed charge sheet against eight accused in this case. [File]

The Jammu and Kashmir Police is carrying out an Internet Protocol Detail Records (IPDR) analysis of arrested PDP youth president Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, officials said, amid allegations that he was in touch with “secessionists” and militants across the border.

The IPDR helps track details of a call or message generated by a phone device and includes details like the number from which the call was made, destination port, start and end date and time. This technology works with closer proximity in 2G environment.

Senior police officials said the IPDR and call data records of Parra, who was arrested by Criminal Investigation (Kashmir), a subsidiary of CID of Jammu and Kashmir Police, are being scrutinized.

During the hearing of Parra’s bail plea on Monday, the police had informed the special NIA court in Srinagar that cell phones and other gadgets seized from his residence had been sent to forensic experts.

“CDR/IPDR in respect of some phones of the accused has been obtained and are being analyzed. During preliminary analysis, it has emerged that (Parra) had contacts across the border suspected to be his associates and handlers in Pakistan…

“During the course of investigation undertaken so far, it has surfaced that the accused (Parra) has been in constant touch with a number of militants,” the court was informed.

The IDPR, according to a research paper by IIT professor Ranjan Bose, Computer Science student at the University of Maryland Adya V Joshi, who did internship with Delhi Police in 2017-18, and senior IPS officer Madan Oberoi, currently executive director with Interpol, correlates the mobile users with other users of encrypted messaging service to make explicit the implicit call graphs in this data.

“When two suspects are talking to each other on WhatsApp, analyzing their GPRS CDRs will reveal that both are connected to WhatsApp. The reverse is of course not true. Just because two people are connected to WhatsApp at the same time does not mean that they are talking to one another,” the research paper stated.

“However, the more two people are on WhatsApp at the same time, the higher the probability that they are talking to one another. This means that by correlating two GPRS CDRs, we can see how often two suspects are using the same service at the same time, and potentially inferring that they are connected to each other,” it said.

The research paper was submitted by the trio at the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), world’s leading professional organisation having over 4 lakh members from 160 countries during its 4th International Conference on Collaboration and Internet Computing (CIC) in 2018.

Taking a cue from this technology, the police are analyzing Parra’s phones and have sought time from the court citing scrutiny of voluminous records made available by FSL experts, the officials said.

This would serve as corroborative evidence in the case, they said.

In the court, Parra’s counsel had denied all charges and claimed that his client, who won the District Development Council elections last year, was being made a political scapegoat.

The Criminal Investigation (Kashmir), a branch of CID mandated to probe cases under the Unlawful Activities and Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), had filed a case last year against unknown politicians and others based on “reliable and confidential sources” who said some political functionaries were “misusing their power and helping militants”.

These politicians, as part of a criminal conspiracy, had established clandestine connections and relations with different Pakistan-supported militant and “secessionist” organizations operating in Jammu and Kashmir for a number of reasons, police quoted the sources as saying.

“The conspiracy was hatched for furthering their political clout among local populace, countering the influence of rival political parties and their members, protecting their own financial and business interests and with medium-term motives of winning the trust of the Pakistani establishment, dealing with subversion in Kashmir, including those in the United Jihad Council,” it added.

Police said these politicians have “supported the militants and secessionists, directly and sometimes through middlemen, by the way of paying money and organising select physical attacks through militant elements”.

They also facilitated movements of militants and transportation of their arms and ammunition, it said.

In furtherance of the criminal conspiracy, these “unprincipled political parties’ functionaries assisted and aided the militants and secessionists in intensifying the war against the Union of India with the main objective of ultimately making Jammu and Kashmir cede from the Union,” police said.