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Elgar Parishad case: Pune police to seek FBI’s help to recover data from hard disk

By Yogesh M Joshi
PUBLISHED ON DEC 27, 2019 12:13 AM IST

Pune Police have decided to seek help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) , United States of America, in the Elgar Parishad case to retrieve data from the hard disk recovered from an arrested in the case.

According to a senior officer involved in the probe, the damaged hard disk was seized from the house of Telugu poet Varavara Rao. Rao was arrested by Pune police on August 28, 2018 along with other activists including Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, and Arun Ferreira in connection with the case.

The police said the accused, most of whom are allegedly linked to the banned outfit CPI (Maoist), were behind the unrest, which took place on December 31, 2017 during Elgar Parishad, as part of their goal to “overthrow” the government. The accused were later kept under house arrest following a Supreme Court order.

The officer, who requested not to be named, said the hard disk, which was recovered from Rao’s computer at his Hyderabad residence, was earlier sent to four forensic laboratories which failed to recover any data.

It was first sent to a Pune-based laboratory, where experts could not retrieve the data, an officer associated with the probe said. It was then sent to the Mumbai-based Directorate of Forensic Science Laboratories, but without any outcome. Similar attempts were made at forensic labs in Gujarat and Hyderabad, he said.

“Since labs of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are much advanced, the decision to send the hard disk there has been taken. Necessary approvals have been given by the Union home ministry,” the officer said.

The prosecution recently submitted a draft charge sheet against the 19 accused, including nine activists, who have already been arrested in connection with the case. (With agency inputs)

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