Former Telangana health minister and BJP Huzurabad MLA Eatala Rajender on Monday, 10 April, was questioned by the Warangal police in the Hanumakonda district in connection with the alleged SSC Hindi question paper leak.
In the notice issued on 6 April, the police said that the accused conspired to commit malpractices in the SSC public examination with the intention of triggering rumours and provoking a breach of peace in the ongoing public examination in the state.
Meanwhile, Telangana BJP president and Member of Parliament from Karimnagar Bandi Sanjay Kumar did not appear before the Warangal police on Monday, which issued him a notice on Saturday asking him to provide his mobile phone and other evidence required in the SSC paper “leak” investigation.
“He was asked to appear today after we issued him notice two days back. But he did not come,” SHO Kamalapur B Sanjeev, who issued the notice to Sanjay, told South First on Monday.
On 9 April, Sanjay lodged a complaint with the Karimnagar police claiming that he had lost his mobile phone on 5 April during the course of detention.
‘Case to divert attention from Delhi liquor scam’
While appearing before the Hanumakonda Central Zone Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Rajender claimed to have handed over this mobile phone to the cops, who examined it in detail and recorded his statement.
His two personal assistants — Narender and Raju — had already appeared before the police after notices were issued to them as well.
“During the police interrogation, I was asked a set of standard questions such as whether I had answered the call and whether I was acquainted with Prashanth. However, due to the illegitimate nature of the case, the police were unable to inquire further. Out of my respect for the law, I cooperated fully with the investigation and answered all their questions to the best of my ability,” Rajender told reporters after the questioning.
The BJP leader also questioned the validity of the case and the definition of a paper leak.
“If the exam begins at 9.30 am and the paper is leaked after 11 hours, how can it be called a paper leak? The case against us is part of a larger conspiracy to implicate us by those in KCR’s Pragati Bhavan,” he said.
He claimed that the cases were registered against the BJP leaders to divert the attention from Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) question paper leak case, the Delhi liquor scam in which BRS MLC K Kavitha was questioned by the ED, delayed pension payments, unpaid diet charges, and the non-payment of contractors.
Bandi Sanjay skips police summons
In a complaint to the police, Sanjay Kumar said he was detained during the intervening night of 4 and 5 April 5 by the Karimnagar police and taken in a police van to the Bommalaramaram Police Station.
He submitted that during the course of the travel, he realised that he lost his mobile phone and claimed to have brought this to the notice of the police officials who were travelling in the van.
After he was remanded, Sanjay Kumar informed his advocates about the missing mobile phone, he said.
Bandi Sanjay’s lawyer Karuna Sagar told South First that his phone went missing amidst the chaos of cops arresting him.
“He had the possession of phone till Siddipet. But when cops stopped at a petrol pump, his phone somehow went missing. He suspects that the cops have his phone,” Sagar said.
About Bandi Sanjay not appearing in front of Warangal cops, Sagar said, “The whole purpose of the visit was to surrender the phone. But now that he does not have it, what’s the purpose left? When the police say they have all the evidence, then what’s the purpose of summoning him? If the police want information on anything else, they have the second accused (Prashanth) in custody.”
Calling every act of the Warangal police “fishy”, and influenced by the whims and fancies of the ruling BRS, Sagar said, “He has a lot of personal information in his phone such as messages from top BJP leaders. If he gives the phone to the police, they might hack it and this will be a breach of the right to privacy.”
What did the notice say?
After the arrest of Sanjay Kumar, Warangal Police Commissioner AV Ranganath had said: “There was a WhatsApp conversation between Sanjay and the second accused (a former journalist of a TV channel). There were also WhatsApp calls between them. When we asked Sanjay, he said his phone was not with him. If we examine his phone, some more information will come out.”
As per the notice issued by the Warangal police to Bandi Sanjay, he refused to submit his phone when the investigating officer asked him.
The notice added that the accused one (Bandi Sanjay) was crucial to ascertain the facts in the case such as the “when and where the source of operation and who all participated in it”.
The images of the SSC Telugu and Hindi question papers surfaced on social media platforms on 3 and 4 April, while the exams were underway.
While the police arrested five people, including Bandi Sanjay and a minor boy, five other persons are absconding. Sanjay was released from jail on 7 April after being granted bail by a Hanumakonda court.