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BJP seeks CBI probe into allegations of phone tapping in Telangana during BRS regime

Four police officers have so far been arrested in connection with the case of phone tapping and destroying certain computer systems and official data after a police complaint was lodged on March 10.

HYDERABAD: The BJP on Saturday petitioned Telangana Governor CP Radhakrishnan, seeking a CBI investigation into the alleged phone tapping during the previous BRS regime.

The BJP appealed to the Governor to seek a report from the state in order to apprise the Union Home Ministry since the matter falls under the concurrent jurisdiction of both the governments and in the ambit of Election Commission, "therefore warranting a thorough CBI investigation".

In a memorandum submitted to the Governor by a BJP delegation led by MP K Laxman, the party pointed out that ever since Telangana police registered a case, evidence has been emerging in the public domain about the alleged deposition of senior police officers "who masterminded the entire operation."

So far, four senior officers of the rank of ACP and DCP have been arrested, BJP said.

"The facts that are coming out in the public domain are indeed very serious, for they, on the one hand, raise serious questions about the security of the nation and, on the other, breach of the safety and liberty of the individuals. Such a deliberate and mischievous intrusion into private lives by state-sponsored machinery is unprecedented apart from being pernicious," it said.

From media reports and FIRs filed by the police, it came to light that during the 2018 Assembly elections, 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the subsequent by-elections in the state, some of these police officers took recourse to telephone tapping of the opposition parties, BJP said.

"The former police officers who were arrested now reportedly confessed to this extent and gave statements about how they had tapped the phones of (BJP candidate in Dubbak bypoll) M Raghunandan Rao during the bye-elections to Dubbaka in 2020, Huzurabad in2021, and Munugodu in November 2022," it said in the memorandum.

It is also reported that they have monitored the calls of senior leaders of the opposition parties to know their political strategies, the party said.

While one aspect in the tapping of phones of political leaders belonging to opposition parties was to gain political advantage, the manner in which police officers tapped the telephones of affluent businessmen, especially jewellers is shocking, it claimed.

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Further, some chunks of the conversation that had murkier content was used as a leverage to extort money, it claimed.

"All these had happened at the behest of, in fact, the proactive connivance of senior leaders of the BRS, including the ministers and the CM himself," BJP said in the memorandum, citing media reports and FIRs.

It further said the arrested former/serving officers reportedly confessed that they had transported the money in police vehicles during the elections to supply to the ruling party candidates.

This confession, if found true, is a blatant attempt to hoodwink the Election Commission itself and is tantamount to brazen fraud. Using the state machinery for such illegal, fraudulent and sinister projects is an illegal practice, BJP said.

The nature of the allegations, the sequence of events, and the reports that are in the public domain warrant the Governor's intervention "since the matter threatens the safety of the nation and the privacy of its citizens", it said.

"It is a case where the state has facilitated brazen extortion," it said.

Four police officers have so far been arrested in connection with the case of phone tapping and destroying certain computer systems and official data after a police complaint was lodged on March 10.

BRS Working President K T Rama Rao on Wednesday said he had nothing to do with the alleged phone tapping during the previous BRS regime.

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