‘KCR wanted BJP leader’s arrest to force…’: Ex-cop's big claim in phone tapping case | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘KCR wanted BJP leader’s arrest to force…’: Ex-cop's big claim in phone tapping case

PTI |
May 28, 2024 07:52 PM IST

This organised work started in 2018 before the Assembly elections and continued to 2019 Lok Sabha elections and various bye-elections in the state.

Former Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao allegedly wanted to use the "BRS MLAs" poaching case to force BJP into a compromise to get rid of the ED case against his daughter and MLC K Kavitha, according to the confession statement of a former police official arrested in connection with the phone-tapping case.

Former Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao(PTI PHOTO)
Former Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao(PTI PHOTO)

As per former Deputy Commissioner of Police P Radha Kishan Rao's confessional statement, one of the accused in the phone tapping case, 'Peddayana'--an indirect reference to Bharat Rashtra Samithi chief and former CM K Chandrasekar Rao(KCR)-- wanted the arrest of BJP National General Secretary, Organisation, B L Santhosh in connection with alleged attempt to poach his party MLAs.

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"A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was formed and KCR wanted the arrest of senior BJP leader Santhosh to make the case strong so that BJP would come for compromise and it can be used to get rid of the ED case on his daughter Kavitha. However, due to inefficiency of some police officials, one important person escaped police apprehension and later the case went to High Court, where not to arrest orders were issued and then the SIT case was transferred to CBI," the confession report said.

According to Rao's confession, 'Peddayana' (elder) was very angry for not completing the work as per his expectation.

Rao was arrested by Hyderabad Police in March this year as part of the ongoing probe into the phone-tapping case pertaining to the previous BRS regime, and destroying certain computer systems and official data. He is accused of being part of the conspiracy with some others including suspended DSP D Praneeth Kumar alias Praneeth Rao of the Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB) in unauthorised developing of private persons' profiles and using them in a partisan manner to favour a political party at the behest of some persons.

Radha Kishan Rao further confessed he used to attend all the important confidential works of "KCR and his family members", like settlement of civil disputes, "arm-twisting" certain persons creating trouble to BRS and KCR and his family members, and also suppressing any type of dissent or protest or agitation against the then ruling party and its led government as 'Peddayana' used to get "irritated for even minor dissent or criticism also".

As per Radha Kishan Rao, the then SIB chief Prabhakar Rao had started a special team under Praneeth Kumar to monitor the persons of opposition parties and other associations who create political trouble to KCR and BRS.

He said Prabhakar Rao had asked him to coordinate with Praneeth Kumar for confidential information related to political work like seizure of money of opponent parties, helping transportation of money belonging to BRS through its main fund organisers and any other special tasks related to politics to favour BRS and KCR.

This organised work started in 2018 before the Assembly elections and continued to 2019 Lok Sabha elections and various bye-elections in the state--Dubbak, Huzurabad and Munugode, he said.

The former SIB chief would ask Praneeth Kumar to develop and build profiles of political opponents, their supporters, their family members and also of persons within BRS party, whose activities were suspicious or those who are criticising KCR or trying to be close to other party leaders, the confession statement said.

Praneeth Kumar would then build their profiles by monitoring their phones and collecting lot of information using various tools made available to him in SIB for official duties and provide the same information to Bhujanga Rao--another police official who was arrested in the phone tapping case. He would then convey it to KCR.

"KCR would then take decisions based on the situation for any further action," the former DCP said.

According to Radha Kishan Rao, one "major" work they did in October 2022 was related to Moinabad farm house MLAs poaching case.

That was at the time of the Munugode assembly bye-election wherein K Rajagopal Reddy, Congress MLA had resigned and joined BJP.

KCR had made it a 'prestige' issue to defeat the BJP in Munugode by-election to halt the saffron party's growth, after its wins in Dubbak and Huzurabad bypolls.

In October 2022, Prabhakar Rao discussed with him that KCR had got information from BRS MLA Pilot Rohith Reddy that some persons claiming to be influential in BJP were in touch with him, and asking him to leave the KCR-led party and join the saffron organisation along with some more legislators.

"Then CM KCR, thinking to use it to corner BJP had asked the SIB to monitor the same by putting surveillance over those private persons and the MLA and Praneeth Kumar did the surveillance and provided one audio clip by intercepting the cell phones. The same audio clip was given to KCR and he ordered us to plan to lay a trap by instructing Rohith Reddy to cooperate with us," he said.

Bhujanga Rao in his confession statement reportedly said surveillance was put over most of the family members of TPCC president and incumbent Telangana CM A Revanth Reddy, some BJP leaders like Bandi Sanjay and E Rajender, besides some BRS leaders.

Due to fear of surveillance, many political leaders, judiciary and bureaucrats avoided direct phone calls and started encrypted communication on social media platforms, he said. Prabhakar Rao and Praneeth Kumar started obtaining Internet Protocol Data Records (IPDRs) to track such communication.

When contacted, senior BRS leader and former MP Vinod Kumar said the party denies all the allegations made in the confessional statement.

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