Koregaon-Bhima: NIA questions laptop hacking charge by US firm

Koregaon-Bhima NIA

Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has refuted a report by a US digital forensics firm suggesting that certain incriminating materials were allegedly planted into the laptop of one of the prime accused in the Koregaon-Bhima case.

The NIA’s denial came in an affidavit filed in the Bombay High Court, dismissing contentions by the US firm Arsenal Consulting, which had claimed that the damning material including a conspiracy to assassinate the Prime Minister and overthrowing the government, was planted in the laptop of the accused Rona J. Wilson.

The affidavit was in response to Wilson’s plea in February, seeking setting up of a Special Investigation Team comprising retired Supreme Court or High Court judges, legal and digital experts, to probe the alleged planting of fake documents in his laptop over a 22-month period, a stay on the proceedings against him and his immediate release.

However, the NIA has contended that Wilson’s plea was not maintainable, and the Arsenal Consulting had “no locus standi to give such opinion” without the court’s permission when the trial against Wilson and 15 other activists, academicians, Dalits, etc, was still pending.

Besides Wilson, another 15 persons were arrested in countrywide swoops in 2018, including P. Varavara Rao, Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha, Jyoti Jagtap, Ramesh Gaichor, Shona Sen, Arun Ferreira, Sagar Gorkhe, Mahesh Raut, Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, Fr. Stan Swamy and Hany Babu, facing charges under the dreaded UAPA Act, 1967.