Phone tapping: More service providers appear before Andhra SIT

Vijayawada, June 23 (IANS) Representatives of four more telecom service providers on Tuesday appeared before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Andhra Pradesh probing the alleged phone-tapping by Telangana government.

Responding to the notices issued by the SIT, the officers of three firms appeared before investigation team at Bhavanipuram police station here. Representatives of five companies had appeared before the SIT on Monday, the first day of the investigations.

SIT issued notices to 12 service providers, asking them furnished call data of last 90 days. They were also asked to give the list of people whose phones were tapped and the names of those who ordered tapping.

The SIT also wanted to know if the permissions were taken from the authorities concerned before phone tapping.

Some service providers were reluctant to appear before SIT on the ground that it has no jurisdiction over them. SIT officials, however, conveyed to them that since they are still functioning under Andhra Pradesh circle, it has the jurisdiction.

Andhra Pradesh government has alleged that Telangana government tapped phones of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and his ministers.

Andhra government had last week constituted SIT headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police Mohammed Iqbal to probe the alleged phone tapping in the wake of cases booked in Andhra Pradesh against Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

As many as 87 cases were booked against KCR at various police stations in Andhra Pradesh after a television channel in Hyderabad on June 7 aired an audio tape of Chandrababu Naidu’s purported telephonic conversation with Telangana’s nominated MLA Elvis Stephenson.

Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader and a member of Telangana assembly 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 Centre, seeking a thorough probe.

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.

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