Elgar Case: Cops to Seek FBI’s Help to Recover Hard Disk Data 

The hard disk seized from Varavara Rao’s house was sent to four forensic labs which failed to recover any data.

2 min read
Activist Varavara Rao.

Pune Police have decided to seek help from FBI, the domestic intelligence and security service of the US, to retrieve data from a damaged hard disk seized from the house of Telugu poet Varavara Rao, an official said on Thursday, 26 December.

Rao was arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case. The hard disk, seized from his house during a raid in August 2018, 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 official associated with the probe said.

The hard disk was later sent to the Mumbai-based Directorate of Forensic Science Laboratories, but experts there could not open it.

Similar attempts were tried at Gujarat and Hyderabad based forensic labs, but no data could be recovered, 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 and necessary approvals have been given by the Union Home Ministry,” the official said.

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

The nine Left-leaning activists arrested by the Pune Police in the case are – Varavara Rao, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, and Sudha Bharadwaj.

According to Pune Police, the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on 31 December 2017 was supported by Maoists, and some inflammatory speeches made at the event led to caste violence at Koregaon Bhima war memorial in the district the next day.

Conspiracy to “assassinate” Prime Minister Narendra Modi and “overthrow” the government, besides “waging war” against the Government of India, are among the charges brought against all the 19 accused by the prosecution in the Elgar Parishad-Koregaon Bhima case.

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