Vijayawada, June 22 (IANS) The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Andhra Pradesh on Monday began probe into the alleged phone-tapping by the Telangana government by summoning phone service providers.
A team of SIT officials gathered information from service providers at Bhavanipuram police station in Vijayawada.
Officials from two service providers reached here from Hyderabad and furnished the details sought by the SIT. According to sources, SIT has issued notices to 12 telecom companies to appear before it.
The investigating officers gathered information including the list of people whose phones were tapped and the names of those who ordered tapping.
The SIT also wanted to know if the permission was taken from the authorities concerned before the phone tapping.
Andhra Pradesh government had last week constituted SIT headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police Mohammed Iqbal to probe the alleged phone tapping and other cases booked in Andhra Pradesh against Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
The allegations of phone tapping were made after a television channel in Hyderabad on June 7 aired an audio tape of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s purported telephonic conversation with Telangana’s nominated legislator Elvis Stephenson.
Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader and Telangana legislator Revanth Reddy was arrested by Telangana’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on May 31 while he tried to bribe Stephenson to induce him to vote for TDP-BJP candidate in legislative council election.
The TDP government of Andhra has also taken up the issue of phone tapping with the central government, seeking a thorough probe.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government of Telangana has denied the allegations of phone tapping and alleged Naidu is making baseless allegations to escape from law in cash-for-vote case.
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh’s Director General of Police J. V. Ramudu on Monday reviewed the probe into the cases booked against Chandrasekhar Rao in Andhra Pradesh.
Intelligence chief Anuradha, CID chief Dwarka Tirumala Rao and DIG Iqbal attended the meeting held in Hyderabad.
The Andhra Police chief reviewed all cases including one booked on a complaint by Jerusalem Muthaiah, an accused in cash-for-vote scandal. Muthaiah, who is absconding, lodged a police complaint against Chandrasekhar Rao and his supporters, alleging that he was being coerced to name Naidu in cash-for-vote scandal.
CID last week took over investigations into the case booked in Vijayawada on Muthaiah’s complaint.
Many cases were booked against Telangana CM at different police stations in Andhra Pradesh after an audio tape was aired on T News, a television channel said to be part owned by Telangana CM’s family.
Andhra Police on Friday served a notice on the channel asking it to reply within three days why legal action should not be taken against it for airing the defamatory audio tape.