Hyderabad CP: Destruction of SIB data on Maoists puts national security at risk

The Hyderabad CP also said in the affidavit that the then SIB chief T Prabhakar Rao put the internal security of the nation at risk by destroying the hard disks of the SIB.
Image used for representation only.
Image used for representation only.

HYDERABAD : Has the image of the Telangana Special Intelligence Branch (SIB), which earned laurels across the country over the past several decades, touched its nadir? The SIB, which is a key partner of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) of Ministry of Home Affairs, appears to have lost vital information pertaining to extremist activities. The counter affidavit filed by Hyderabad Commissioner of Police Kothakota Sreenivasa Reddy, in the affidavit filed in the High Court in the phone-tapping case, more or less indicated the same.

The Hyderabad CP also said in the affidavit that the then SIB chief T Prabhakar Rao put the internal security of the nation at risk by destroying the hard disks of the SIB.

“The gravamen of the charge is that removal of hard disks and damaging them caused heavy loss of information gathered on Left Wing Extremism (LWE) over the decades resulting in threat to public safety and security of state and nation,” the Hyderabad CP said.

Hard disks with decades of data on Naxals thrown into river: Hyd CP

In their counter-affidavit filed in the High Court with a plea to close the suo motu case in the phone-tapping case, the Hyderabad police informed the court that the SIB was constituted under the Intelligence department of the Telangana State Police. The SIB is a specialised intelligence agency established exclusively for the purpose of collection of intelligence on the activities of the banned CPI (Maoist) party and other affiliated organisations in the state to protect society, they added.

“The SIB has achieved laurels in the entire country for successfully curbing the Maoist activities not only in the state but also elsewhere in the country through timely exchange of crucial information among various law enforcement agencies … thereby preventing many violent incidents and saving hundreds of lives. The SIB thrives on the crucial information gathered painstakingly by hundreds of brave police officers over decades. In the instant case, the accused person has destroyed permanently such huge data of SIB along with the data he had developed clandestinely, unauthorisedly and illegally for ulterior motive of helping a political party,” the Hyderabad police added.

“The invaluable data built by SIB over decades has been destroyed irreversibly by the accused person in a conspiracy with his associates in a bid to cause disappearance of all evidence that would have incriminated them for their illegal activities of putting surveillance over hundreds of citizens from all walks of life in an unauthorised manner. By way of such destruction of SIB data stored in hard disks which were cut and thrown in a river, the accused has put the internal security of the nation at risk ... Hence, the accused person has committed the offence under 70 of the IT Act, 2000. The accused made requests for Telecom Service Providers for CDRs, IPDRs and interception requests from the NIC e-mail services used by SIB office in violation of Sec.5(2) of Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and Information Technology Act,2000…,” the counter filed by the Hyderabad CP said.

The affidavit noted that in 2018 A-1 T Prabhkar Rao, the then chief of SIB, formed a small informal team, termed as SOT, within the SIB for carrying out certain specific tasks not related to tackling left-wing extremism. The SOT was used to carry out political surveillance to benefit the ruling party and its leaders, it added.

SIB misused to help BRS, claim cops

WHAT LAW SAYS

 As per the government orders and guidelines issued by the DGP, the SIB is formed for curbing the extremist/Left Wing Extremism (LWE) in the state of United AP

HOW ACCUSED DISOBEYED THE LAW

 The accused violated all guidelines and utilised the resources of SIB for causing political benefit to BRS

THE RESULT

 The SIB lost very valuable and restricted sensitive data pertaining to the security of state/nation collected by many officers over the years with a lot of pain and bravery

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