Telangana phone tapping case: Ex-SIB chief named prime accused

The development comes after the arrest of top police officials - additional DCP Thirupathanna and additional SP N Bhujanga Rao.

Hyderabad: Former special intelligence bureau chief T Prabhakar Rao has been named prime accused in connection with the phone tapping and evidence tampering case.

It is alleged that the suspended officer D Praneeth Rao, acted on the instruction of Rao and exhorted money from 36 businessmen, mainly jewellers, hawala operators, realtors and prominent construction company owners.

The Hyderabad police issued a lookout circular for Rao as well as deputy commissioner of police of Commissioner’s Task Force P Radhakrishnan and senior executive director of a Telugu TV channel after they were found unavailable for interrogation.

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“During questioning, the two police officials confessed to their involvement in the reported crimes, including conspiracy to monitor private persons illegally by developing their profiles, abusing their official positions; to cause the disappearance of evidence by destroying public property to conceal their involvement in collusion with the already arrested D Praneeth Kumar alias Praneeth Rao, DSP (under suspension), and some other persons,” the lookout circular read.

According to a senior police officer, there is a high chance of the accused fleeing the country.

The development comes after the arrest of top police officials – additional DCP Thirupathanna and additional SP N Bhujanga Rao. The two had earlier worked as additional superintendents of police in the special intelligence bureau and intelligence department respectively during the previous Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government.

Thirupathanna and N Bhujanga Rao have been accused of colluding with the suspended DSP of the SIB, D Praneeth Rao, who was earlier arrested by Hyderabad police for allegedly erasing the intelligence information from various electronic gadgets as well as for alleged phone tapping during the previous BRS regime.

On Sunday, they were remanded to judicial custody.

On March 10, accused D Praneeth Rao was arrested over alleged spying charges. During interrogation, he reportedly admitted phone tapping opposition leaders, including that of current Congress Telangana chief minister Revanth Reddy on the orders of his then superiors.

As part of the investigation into the case of alleged destruction of hard disks and burning of important documents, investigating officers examined WhatsApp chats on Praneeth’s phone and examined the messages received from BRS leaders as well as private individuals. They found that information was shared with BRS leaders.

On March 21, the Telangana High Court dismissed the Memorandum of Criminal Revision Petition filed by Rao who had sought relief by contesting the decisions of the lower court and complained that he was subjected to round-the-clock questioning by the investigators.


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