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Telangana Phone-Tapping Case: More Senior Police Officials Arrested



Telangana Phone Tapping Case: More Senior Police Officials Arrested

The Hyderabad Police have apprehended two additional high-ranking police officials in connection with the ongoing Telangana phone-tapping scandal, as reported by PTI. This case revolves around the alleged unauthorized surveillance of multiple individuals, including CM A Revanth Reddy, during the previous assembly elections, along with the destruction of crucial computer systems and official data.

On March 13, D Praneeth Rao, a suspended deputy superintendent of police at the Special Intelligence Bureau, was taken into custody following a complaint lodged by D Ramesh, an additional superintendent of police within the same bureau. According to an official statement, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Thirupathanna and Additional Superintendent of Police N Bhujanga Rao were arrested on Saturday for colluding with Praneeth Rao.

During interrogation, the two police officials reportedly admitted to their involvement in various crimes, such as illegally monitoring private individuals by misusing their positions of authority and destroying public property to conceal their collusion with D Praneeth Rao, who was already in custody.

The arrested officials have been remanded to judicial custody until April 6, as per The Hindu. Praneeth Rao, in his statement, mentioned that he engaged in phone tapping and data destruction based on instructions from former Special Intelligence Bureau chief T Prabhakar Rao.

Praneeth Rao confessed to tapping the phones of numerous political figures during the elections, including fundraising activities of various parties. He also admitted to monitoring the phones of businessmen. Additionally, he disclosed destroying the primary device and hard disks containing surveillance data by cutting them into pieces and disposing of them in a river.

Bhujanga Rao specified that the phone numbers for tapping were provided by Bharat Rashtra Samithi leaders, forwarding them to Praneeth Rao and Thirupathanna. A criminal case was filed against Praneeth Rao on March 10 for breaching trust, tampering with evidence, and being part of a criminal conspiracy.

The complaint against Rao highlighted his involvement in dismantling and destroying data stored on 42 hard drives, replacing them with new ones. He was accused of dismantling equipment and destroying data on the night of the elections when the Bharat Rashtra Samithi was defeated in 2023.

The police investigation also involves allegations of illegal surveillance on Chief Minister Revanth Reddy, BJP and Congress members, as well as individuals associated with the Bharat Rashtra Samithi. Reports suggest that celebrities and businessmen were also under monitoring, with some facing blackmail attempts. Over a hundred thousand phone calls were allegedly intercepted.

Rachel Adams

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