No damaged hard disk seized from house: Rao's lawyer

No damaged hard disk seized from house: Rao's lawyer

Varavara Rao. PTI file photo

The defence in the Elgar Parishad- Maoist links case claimed on Wednesday that no damaged hard disk was ever recovered from Telugu poet and activist Varavara Rao's residence by the Pune police last year.

Rao is one of the nine persons arrested in the case.

Advocate Rohan Nahar, his lawyer, filed an application before the trial court here, seeking clarification on media reports that the police were going to seek the help of US investigation agency FBI to retrieve data from a damaged hard disk seized from Rao's house.

Nahar said in the application that Pune Police, in the charge sheet, annexed four panchnamas (spot reports) of search and seizure of "so-called" evidence from Rao's and other accused's houses and offices.

"No mention of seizure of any damaged hard disk is found in the panchanamas," the lawyer argued.

"In this backdrop it is necessary to seek a formal stand/report from the police on media reports," the plea said, requesting the court to direct the state to submit a detailed report on this "controversy".

According to a police official, a hard disk seized from Rao's house in August 2018 was sent to four forensic laboratories, all of which failed to recover any data from it.

The prosecution recently submitted a draft charge sheet against 19 accused, including arrested activists 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 December 31, 2017, was supported by Maoists, and inflammatory speeches made there 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 proposed by the prosecution.

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