Telangana snooping case: Ex-DCP ’confesses’ phone tapping of those who posed threat to BRS govt, say reports

The former DCP of the Commissioner's Task Force, a wing of Hyderabad Police, was arrested on March 29 by the city police in connection with the case of phone tapping and destroying certain computer systems and official data. Here's what he has reportedly confessed.

Livemint
Updated27 May 2024
Former Deputy Commissioner of Police  Radhakishan Rao reportedly admitted to his involvement in conducting surveillance
Former Deputy Commissioner of Police Radhakishan Rao reportedly admitted to his involvement in conducting surveillance

Former Deputy Commissioner of Police (Task Force, Hyderabad City) P Radhakishan Rao reportedly confessed to being involved in phone tapping when K Chandrasekhar's Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government was in power.

The India Express cited sources as saying that Radhakishan Rao admitted to his involvement in conducting surveillance on politicians and others under the directions of the then Telangana Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB) chief T Prabhakar Rao.

Meanwhile, NDTV reported that Rao claimed devices belonging to media "industry bigwigs, retired cops, and politicians [including from then-ruling BRS] were hacked and monitored". This allegedly happene before the November state election “to keep tabs on then Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's political rivals”.

ALSO READ: Congress claims Rahul Gandhi being spied on; police say visit routine exercise

The former DCP of the Commissioner's Task Force, a wing of Hyderabad Police, was arrested on March 29 by the city police in connection with the case of phone tapping and destroying certain computer systems and official data.

Rao reportedly informed investigators that anyone who voiced criticism of the BRS government or who was seen as a potential threat to the party was subjected to heavy electronic monitoring.

Sources said former SIB deputy Superintendent of Police D Praneeth Rao was provided with "information about political leaders – both within BRS and in the opposition – who needed to be put under surveillance".

"He [Praneeth Rao] would allegedly profile them and lead an extensive operation to tap their phones so they can be kept under watch at all times," the Indian Express reported.

ALSO READ: Lok Sabha Elections 2024: BRS, BSP decide seat-sharing deal in Telangana

Sources further said that after finding that many individuals had switched to using encrypted platforms like WhatsApp or Snapchat for communication, the then SIB chief Prabhakar Rao allegedly directed the team to track calls using Internet Protocol Data Records.

Who's phones were tapped?

As per the report, those under surveillance included former IPS officer RS Praveen Kumar, former BRS leader and MLA Kadiam Srihari, former BRS minister T Rajaiah; former Tandur MLA Patnam Mahender Reddy, Congress leader K Jana Reddy and his two sons, and several district-level Congress leaders were also under put surveillance.

Even "the movements of several industrialists, builders, businessmen, journalists and bureaucrats were also kept under watch, mainly to track who they were talking to or meeting." sources were quoted as saying.

According to NDTV, Rao also said businesspersons in the real estate and construction industries were also tracked to establish their affiliations.

Police had said in March this year Radhakishan Rao had confessed to his involvement in the commission of the reported crimes of conspiracy to put surveillance over such private persons without authorization.

He had also confessed to "carry out certain actions in a politically biased manner, to exploit official resources to transport money illegally when the election Model Code of Conduct is in force, to destroy evidence of their illegal activities by damaging public property and causing disappearance of evidence in collusion with other accused persons," it claimed.

On March 23, two additional superintendents of police, who were accused of colluding with suspended DSP of the Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB) D Praneeth Rao, were also arrested.

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