Congress poll strategist and task force member Sunil Kanugolu appeared before the cybercrime wing of the Hyderabad City Police on Monday, 9 January. The elusive poll strategist, who maintains a low profile, was the focus of television cameras as he arrived at the police headquarters in Hyderabad.
Kanugolu, who heads Congress’ election War Room in Telangana, was questioned in connection with alleged defamatory posts against Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao and his daughter and BRS MLC Kalvakuntla Kavitha.
The Hyderabad police also issued a notice under section 41 (A) of the CrPC to Telangana Congress senior vice-president Mallu Ravi to appear before them at 10:30 am on 12 January.
“Sunil Kanugolu cooperated well throughout the questioning. It went on approximately for around two hours. He may not be called for questioning again,” KVM Prasad, cybercrime ACP, told South First.
He was earlier supposed to appear on 30 December before the cybercrime sleuths but had filed a petition in Telangana High Court demanding quashing of the notice.
On 3 January, the Telangana High Court refused to quash the notice issued to Kanugolu. The high court, however, had directed the police not to arrest him when he appeared before them.
Meanwhile, Kanugolu refused to speak to media after the questioning. No statement was released from either the Congress or Kanugolu’s firm Mindshare Analytics.
Telangana police refuse to accept health reasons as premise to evade questioning. @INCIndia Sunil Kanugolu arrives in person for questioning in dematory posts case against @INCTelangana war room. @TheSouthfirst pic.twitter.com/WqnfDih091
— Anusha Ravi Sood (@anusharavi10) January 9, 2023
Mallu Ravi to be questioned next
The police issued the notice to Mallu Ravi, a former member of Parliament, after he declared himself as the in-charge of the War Room, while questioning why the police had issued a notice to Sunil Kanugolu.
During the questioning, Kanugolu is understood to have told the police that he had nothing to do with the posting of objectionable content on social media.
While seeking to get the notice quashed in the high court, his counsel had argued that Kanugolu was not even the prime accused in the case filed by the cybercrime police.
The Congress poll strategist was directed to appear for questioning on 8 January, but he had requested police to postpone the same by one day.
Kanugolu’s ‘ill-health’ excuse rejected by cops
Earlier in the day, Kanugolu, who is also the Congress’ task force member, cited ill-health due to which he would not be able to appear before the cops for questioning. However, the Telangana police refused to accept this.
Meanwhile, the case pertains to a video posted on Facebook captioned Telangana Galam. In the video faces of the Chief Minister KCR, his daughter Kavitha, and son KT Rama Rao, were superimposed on to the faces of actors who appeared in a 1957 Telugu film Mayabazar.
For this FB post Telangana Congress War room headed by #SunilKanugolu team at Hyderabad was raided and 50 computers taken … Data stolen …
Five of our Proffesional partners arrested illegally without FIR ..
Now I am posting the same let @TelanganaCMO arrest me …#HitlerKCR pic.twitter.com/6SonRAHRdZ
— Manickam Tagore .B🇮🇳✋மாணிக்கம் தாகூர்.ப (@manickamtagore) December 14, 2022