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TS Police Intensify Probe into Phone Tapping Case 2024

TS Police Intensify Probe into Phone Tapping Case 2024
TS Police have issued a lookout notice for ex-SIB chief Prabhakar Rao, former additional DCP of the City Task Force, P Radha Kishan Rao, and MD Shravan Rao of the iNews TV channel.

The Telangana Police have ramped up their investigation into the high-profile phone-tapping case, leading to the arrest of three police officials. The dedicated team has successfully retrieved fragments of hard disks from the Musi River. These hard disks were destroyed by the accused officers in an attempt to erase any evidence related to the alleged phone-tapping activities conducted by the Special Intelligence Branch (SIB) during the tenure of the previous government led by the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS).

The damaged hard disks, containing crucial evidence, were meticulously packaged and dispatched to the Forensic Science Laboratory for thorough analysis. In a strategic move, the TS police are scheduled to file a petition in a city court on Tuesday, March 26, to secure custody of two police officers who were apprehended on March 23.

Ravi Gupta (DGP) of  TS
Ravi Gupta (DGP)

Additional Superintendent of Police, Bhupalpally, Mr. N Bhujanga Rao, along with Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, City Security Wing, Hyderabad City Police, Mr. Tirupathanna, found themselves unexpectedly summoned before a magistrate on a calm Sunday morning. The legal proceedings unfolded meticulously in the serene courtroom, leading to a decision where both distinguished individuals were remanded to judicial custody for 14 days.

Their alleged involvement in the destruction of evidence related to the TS Phone Tapping Case led to charges being filed against them. The charges included violations of Section 409 of the Indian Penal Code, which pertains to criminal breach of trust by a public servant, as well as Section 70 of the Information Technology Act.

They had previously served in the Special Investigation Branch (SIB) as Deputy Superintendents of Police. Their interrogation is expected to shed light on additional facts related to the case. Additionally, the police have already issued a lookout notice for former SIB chief Prabhakar Rao, former additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) from the City Task Force, P Radha Kishan Rao, and iNews TV channel Managing Director Shravan Rao.

Also Read:Arrest ‘absconding’ Ex MP Jaya Prada: UP court asks police to produce her before it on March 6

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) is currently considering the possibility of summoning certain key leaders of the BRS for questioning about the phone-tapping case. It is believed that the accused individuals tapped the phones of opposition party leaders under the direction of these BRS leaders. The issue came to light following the arrest of DSP, SIB, D Praneeth Rao on March 13. Rao was suspended and apprehended for the alleged destruction of evidence. Reports suggest that he wiped out data by destroying 50 hard disks after the BRS’s defeat in the Assembly elections.

During the interrogation by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), the names of other officers purportedly implicated in the case came to light. The arrest transpired following a complaint lodged on March 10 by Additional Superintendent of Police, SIB, D Ramesh. The complaint alleged clandestine surveillance of individuals, unauthorized entry into official records, and the improper utilization of intelligence data.

Prabhakar Rao
Prabhakar Rao

After the election results were officially announced on December 3, 2023, Praneeth Rao, a member of the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB), was allegedly involved in suspicious activities. Reports suggest that he disconnected CCTVs, wiped out data, and damaged electronic devices following the declaration. Despite the SIB primarily functioning as an anti-Maoist intelligence unit, Praneeth Rao and his 10-member team were assigned the unusual task of gathering political intelligence.

Their focus reportedly included monitoring opposition leaders and providing direct updates to Prabhakar Rao, who had close ties to then Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. The situation took a surprising turn when Prabhakar Rao chose to step down as the SIB chief after the Congress party assumed power.

What is the TS Phone Tapping Case?

According to the TS police, the two arrested ASPs allegedly colluded with the suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) D. Praneeth Rao from the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB). Rao was previously detained for purportedly deleting intelligence data from electronic devices and for alleged phone tapping during the previous BRS government.

TS Phone Tapping Case stated that the two arrested officials admitted to participating in a conspiracy to unlawfully monitor private individuals by creating profiles, misusing their authority, destroying public property to hide evidence, and colluding with the previously arrested D. Praneeth Kumar, also known as Praneeth Rao and others.

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