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Mystery Signal Transmissions Originating from Arabian Sea Baffle Ham Radio Buffs

Around 70 of the 200 amateur radio operators in Mumbai have heard these unknown signals at various times of the day, and mostly at night

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Mumbai, November 21, 2016: Amateur radio operators, also known as ham radio buffs, in Mumbai were baffled by unidentified mystery signal transmissions reportedly originating from the Arabian Sea on the country’s west coast, an operator said here on Monday.

Though the signals have been picked up by their VHF wireless radios since the past five months or so, they became suspicious after they tracked them down to the deep sea off Maharashtra-Gujarat coasts, said Ham Radio Operators Mumbai spokesperson Ankur Puranik.

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“We have written to the Wireless Advisor, Ministry of Telecommunications and IT, with copies to the PMO, other ministries, and top defence and police officials to take note and investigate these unknown signals,” Puranik told IANS.

They sent the memorandum to the Centre after analysing the signals with their direction-finding equipment and antennae and were alarmed to learn they originated around 100 nautical miles in the high seas off the Maharashtra-Gujarat coast.

“They are encroaching on our allotted bandwidth 144-146MHz for our two-way radio, they don’t use the compulsory ‘call sign’ by which each ham radio operator in the world can be identified and tracked, and they speak in a language we can’t understand,” Puranik explained.

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The amateur radio operators did not rule out the wireless signals originating from some anti-social elements or sea pirates or other groups with possible nefarious motives.

Around 70 of the 200 amateur radio operators in Mumbai have heard these unknown signals at various times of the day, and mostly at night and they still continue.

Puranik claimed that the unidentified operators could be using high-power wireless sets in the range of 25Watts-50Watts and their signals may be propagated many hundreds of nautical miles to other Indian coastal areas or some neighbouring countries.

“We believe that they are using open-band wireless sets which can tune in to or transit in any frequency in the VHF band between 136-174MHz. Some of these frequencies may be falling in the bands used by the Indian government and security agencies,” he said.

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In the memo, they have urged the Centre to check out dealers of Marine Radio Equipment in India and the radio licences of all fishing vessels to ascertain if the mystery operators have acquired their equipment from illegal sources.

Besides, they have also drawn the Centre’s attention to the unauthorized sale of two-way radio sets on various online sites, shopping sites and other internet marketing outlets which are flouting Indian laws. (IANS)

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Pakistan releases 78 Indians imprisoned in Karachi Jail

Seventy-seven Indian fishermen and a person from Bihar, who were imprisoned in a Karachi jail, returned to India after being released by Pakistan

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India and Pakistan
India and Pakistan. Wikimedia.
  • Pakistan released seventy-seven Indian fishermen and a person from Bihar, who were imprisoned in a Karachi jail
  • Yesterday the 78 prisoners were handed over by Pakistan to the Border Security Force (BSF) at a joint check post at Attari/Wagah border in a goodwill gesture
  • The Indian fishermen were arrested when their boats ended up in Pakistan’s waters in an area of the Arabian Sea where they were surrounded and later caught by the coast guards

Amritsar, July 11, 2017: Pakistan released seventy-seven Indian fishermen and a person from Bihar, who were imprisoned in a Karachi jail and allowed them to return to India.

Yesterday the 78 prisoners were handed over by Pakistan to the Border Security Force (BSF) at a joint check post at Attari/Wagah border in a goodwill gesture. They crossed over to India using the land transit route on the basis of Emergency Travel Certificates issued by the Indian High Commission based at Islamabad.

Last year in May, the Indian fishermen were arrested when their boats ended up in Pakistan’s waters in an area of the Arabian Sea where they were surrounded and later caught by the coast guards, mentioned PTI report.

A team of Indian doctors conducted medical check-ups immediately after the repatriation of the released civilians, officials posted at Attari Border on the Indian side stated yesterday.

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It was an emotional homecoming for the group. The moment they crossed over to their motherland, they expressed happiness and gratitude by bowing their heads and kissing the Indian soil.

However, an expression of anxiety was reflected by the faces of the fishermen when they talked about their uncertain future as their boats still remain in the custody of Pakistan, mentioned the PTI report.

The cost of a boat usually varies from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 10 lakh, depending on its size and quality. Most of the fishermen added that they were already debt-ridden before their arrest as they purchased the boats with the help of loans. Now their current situation would make them jobless.

According to the fishermen, identifying the territorial waters and borders during fishing in the Arabian sea was difficult.

There have been frequent cases where Fishermen have been taken under arrest along with their boats by both India and Pakistan. The reasons behind that are nothing but the poorly defined maritime border in the Arabian Sea and the lack of needed technology to ascertain their precise location in the boats used.

prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang