Telangana SIB tapped phones to ensure BRS stays in power, claims arrested cop

The official claimed that SIB hired a house near Revanth Reddy’s residence and reportedly brought a device from Israel to record his conversations

Hyderabad: Former DCP Radha Kishan Rao, who is the fourth police officer to be arrested in the case of the phone tapping of opposition leaders and businessmen during the previous Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government in Telangana, claimed on Monday, April 1, that officials involved spoke about ensuring BRS continued to stay in power.

Radha Krishna Rao also claimed cash was moved in official vehicles in the 2018 and 2023 Assembly polls.

As reported by NDTV, the arrested police officer said Praneeth Rao, Bhujanga Rao, Tirupatanna, and Venugopal Rao conspired under the leadership of then Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB) chief T Prabhakar Rao, to ensure the BRS remains in power in Telangana.

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Meanwhile, on Monday, April 1, Telangana Civil Supplies and Irrigation minister Capt N Uttam Kumar Reddy said that there was no question of letting go of those behind the phone tapping scandal, adding that his phone was also tapped. “No matter how many big leaders are behind the tapping, they will all be punished,” he added.

Recently, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) senior vice-president Niranjan Reddy wrote to Telangana Director General of Police (DGP) Ravi Gupta alleging that SIB officials hired a house near Revanth Reddy’s residence and reportedly brought a device from Israel to record his conversations without the permission of the Union Home Ministry.

In a case booked by the Hyderabad police on the issue, so far, apart from DCP Radha Kishan Rao, DSP Praneeth Rao and Additional Superintendents of Police Bhujanga Rao and Thirupathanna have been arrested.

Earlier, Telangana chief minister Revanth Reddy warned that anyone who was involved in the phone tapping under previous government will be sent to Cherlapally jail.

The phone-tapping matter came to light with the arrest of DSP Praneeth Rao.

He was suspended and arrested on March 13 for destroying evidence. He had allegedly erased data by destroying 50 hard disks after the defeat of the BRS in Assembly elections. The arrest was made on a complaint by ASP (SIB), D Ramesh, on March 10, alleging clandestine monitoring of individuals, unauthorised access to official records, and misuse of intelligence information.

SIB is an anti-Maoist intelligence unit but Praneeth Rao was tasked with the job of gathering political intelligence along with a 10-member team. He was allegedly keeping tabs on the opposition leaders and directly reporting to SIB chief Prabhakar Rao, who has been named as the main accused and faces a look-out notice. Prabhakar Rao is expected to arrive in Hyderabad from the United States soon.

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