Ex-DCP sent to police custody for 7 days in Telangana phone tapping case

Hyderabad: A Hyderabad court on Wednesday sent former Deputy Commissioner of Police, Task Force, Radha Kishan Rao to police custody for seven days in the phone tapping case.

After hearing the police petition, the Nampally court sent him to police custody from April 4 to 10.

The investigators will question him during the period to gather more information about the alleged phone tapping carried out during the rule of the previous Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government.

Kishan Rao has been named as the fourth accused in the case, which came to light last month, causing a stir in political circles. Working as an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the Task Force following his retirement, he was arrested on March 28. The next day, the Nampally court sent him to judicial custody for 14 days.

There are allegations that a Special Operations Team was created in the Special Intelligence Branch (SIB) for surveillance of rival political leaders and their families and dissidents within the ruling party.

Former SIB chief Prabhakar Rao allegedly created the SOT with his trusted aides, including DSP D. Praneeth Rao, who was the first police officer to be arrested in the case last month.

According to the remand report, the Task Force seized Rs 70 lakh belonging to Anand Prasad, the TDP candidate from Serilingampally constituency during the December 2018 elections after SOT shared information with Kishan Rao.

On Praneeth’s inputs, the team also seized Rs 1 crore during the 2020 Dubbaka by-election. The money belonged to a chit fund company in Siddipet, associated with relatives and associates of BJP candidate M. Raghunandan Rao.

Similarly, during the Munugode by-election in October 2022, Rs.3.5 crore of BJP candidate Komatireddy Raja Gopal Reddy was intercepted and seized.

Two other police officers, N. Bhujanga Rao and M. Tirupatanna, were Tuesday sent to judicial custody till April 6. The two officers were produced in the court after their five-day police custody came to an end on Tuesday.

Bhujanga Rao, Additional Superintendent of Police in Bhupalpally district and Tirupathanna, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, City Security Wing, Hyderabad City Police were arrested on March 23. They had earlier served in SIB.

Prabhakar Rao, considered close to then Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, resigned as SIB chief after the Congress came to power. Police have issued a lookout notice for Prabhakar Rao, who is said to be abroad.