Phone tapping case: BJP leader accuses ex-DCP of intimidation

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state executive member Saran Chowdary filed a complaint against former deputy commissioner of police of Commissioner’s Task Force P Radhakrishna and two others for alleged intimidation and harassment.

This comes a day after Radhakrishna was named the third accused in the ongoing phone-tapping case. Former Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB) chief T Prabhakar Rao is the prime accused and suspended officer D Praneeth Rao is second. Three persons have been arrested so far. The Hyderabad police, on March 25, Monday, issued a lookout circular for Prabhakar Rao and Radhakrishna.

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Chowdary, a resident of Banjara Hills, complained to chief minister Revanth Reddy of alleged harassment and intimidation by Radhakrishna, assistant commissioner of police (ACP) T S Umamaheshwar Rao and police inspector Chettu Sreenu.

Chowdary alleged he was kidnapped on August 21, 2023, by police officers dressed in civils who took him to the Central Crime Station.

“They registered a case against me that I took deposits from many people and created a fake agreement with my forged signature. ACP Umamaheshwar Rao forced me to register a flat in the name of Mr Vijay, who is a relative of former BRS minister E Dayakar Rao.”

It should be noted here that the BRS leader has also been named in the phone-tapping case, even as he refutes the allegations.

Chowdary said he was assaulted, kicked, and slapped by the police officers.

Chowdary further alleges he was illegally kept under police custody for two days and was released only when he agreed to register the flat.

“During my illegal stay, they forced my family to transfer Rs 50 lakh,” he said.

Chowdary mentioned he had submitted a writ petition to the Telangana High Court but withdrew after immense threats from ACP Umamaheshwar Rao.

BRS leader refutes allegation

Former minister and BRS leader Dayakar Rao has refuted Chowdary’s claims of assault, extortion and intimidation.

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Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, March 26, he said, “I do not know who Saran Chowdary is. There are many cases against him in Banjara Hills police station and I don’t understand why they are dragging me in this matter. I have nothing to do with the phone-tapping case and I don’t even know who Praneeth Rao is. Such things are being done as part of political conspiracy.”

Phone tapping case

The Hyderabad police, on March 25, named former special intelligence bureau chief T Prabhakar Rao as the prime accused in connection with the phone tapping and evidence tampering case.

So far, three officers including D Praneeth Rao, additional DCP Thirupathanna and additional SP N Bhujanga Rao have been arrested and remanded to judicial custody. The accused worked as additional superintendents of police in the special intelligence bureau and intelligence department respectively during the previous Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government.

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.

Rao, who was arrested on March 10, 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.

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