Fmr DCP spills the beans on tapping politicos' phones

Fmr DCP spills the beans on tapping politicos phones

  • SIB orchestrated the phone-tapping operation
  • Surveillance targeted opposition party members, media personalities, businessmen
  • Not limited to politicians; extended to construction and real estate
  • Leaders avoided direct calls, preferring encrypted platforms

Hyderabad: Former DCP Task Force P Radha Kishan Rao, who was arrested in an alleged phone tapping case, confesses to tapping the phones of political leaders, realtors, and others in the previous government.

Radha Kishan Rao confessed to the Hyderabad police about his involvement in a phone-tapping operation. According to Radha Kishan's confession, the operation was orchestrated by Special Intelligence Branch (SIB) Chief Prabhakar Rao. The SIB, under Prabhakar Rao's direction, gathered information on individuals deemed threats to the ruling BRS party. He started a team under SIB DSP Praneeth Kumar, who monitored these individuals continuously to develop profiles that could be used to control and neutralise potential threats to the BRS party.

The ex DCP disclosed that prominent figures under surveillance included MLC Shambipur Raju, (who had conflicts with Quthbullapur MLA), T Rajaiah BRS leader, Kadiyam Srihari of Warangal, Patnam Mahender Reddy and his wife, who were unhappy with the Tandur MLA, retired IPS officer RS Praveen Kumar, two media personalities, and most of the family members of A Revanth Reddy.

The surveillance also extended to several opposition party candidates, including Raghuveer, son of Jana Reddy of Nagarjunasagar, Saritha Thirupathaiah of Gadwal, Juvvadi Narsinga Rao of Korutla, Vamshi Krishna of Achampet, Kavvampalli Satyanarayana of Manakondur, staff of Nizamabad MP D Aravind, Eatela Rajender, and Bandi Sanjay, and many businessmen of different construction and real estate companies, to track their movements and also to know their networks and associates.

The surveillance was not limited to political figures. He revealed that many businessmen from the construction and real estate sectors were also monitored to track their movements and associations. This extensive spying led many political leaders, judiciary members, and bureaucrats to avoid direct phone calls, opting instead for encrypted communication platforms like WhatsApp, Signal, and Snapchat.

In response, Prabhakar Rao and his team began obtaining and analysing Internet Protocol Data Records (IPDRs) to track communications over internet calls. A particularly disturbing element of the scandal involves a journalist from a news channel. Radha Kishan's confession indicates that during the election period in October and November 2023, the journalist maintained direct contact with Prabhakar Rao at the behest of then Minister T Harish Rao.

He provided specific inputs for targeted seizures of money from rival leaders and assisted Praneeth Kumar's team in online trolling campaigns against critics of the BRS party.

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