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After Pegasus and Arsenal Reports, Can Bhima Koregaon Case Still Stand?

After Pegasus and Arsenal Reports, Can Bhima Koregaon Case Still Stand?

The Quint / by Anand Venkatanarayanan

An expert decodes Arsenal report—on planting evidence in activists’ devices—& its significance after Pegasus leaks.
In the light of Pegasus leaks, suggesting that Indian government used a spyware to snoop on politicians, constitutional appointees, journalists, and activists, the Bhima Koregaon case deserves fresh and sharp attention.
The Bhima Koregaon case (BKC) is a unique case in many aspects, but one aspect stands out – the planting of evidence through the use of malware as detailed by the Arsenal reports (Report one, two, three).
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Also read: Leaked Data Shows Surveillance Net in Elgar Parishad Case May Have Crossed a Line (The Wire, July 18, 2021)

BK16: Why Is The Judiciary Still Sleeping? / Demise of Father Stan Swamy Marks Death of India’s Conscience

BK16: Why Is The Judiciary Still Sleeping? / Demise of Father Stan Swamy Marks Death of India’s Conscience

BK16: Why Is The Judiciary Still Sleeping?

15/07/2021

Countercurrents / by Sangeeta Kamat

The Bhima Koregaon15 spending a single additional night in jail is a travesty of justice.
The third report by Arsenal on evidence planting became public on July 6, with even more damning evidence corroborating the first two reports in February and April that confirmed extensive evidence planting on Rona Wilson’s hard drive, the first of the arrestees in the BK16 case. The third report meticulously documents transcripts of the malware and external activity on co-defendant Surendra Gadling’s hard drive from 2016 onward by the same attacker! Should not the Indian judiciary take account of the Arsenal reports to declare a fresh line of investigation into the so-called Bhima Koregaon case and release the 15 immediately?
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Demise of Father Stan Swamy Marks Death of India’s Conscience

15/07/2021

The Leaflet / by Aninda Dey

There was hardly a whimper in response to the sudden arrest of Father Stan Swamy on unproven charges of links to Maoists and sparking violence at Bhima Koregaon. His months-long incarceration under the UAPA, inhuman treatment, and tragic death is a dangerous trend that we Indians cannot ignore, for anybody could be next, writes Aninda Dey.
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Also read:
Evidence found on a second Indian activist’s computer was planted, report says (Washington Post, July 6, 2021)
Surendra Gadling’s Computer Was Attacked, Incriminating Documents Planted: Arsenal Consulting (The Wire, July 6, 2021)

Arsenal Report Can’t Be Relied Upon, Pune Police Opposes Rona Wilson’s Plea

Arsenal Report Can’t Be Relied Upon, Pune Police Opposes Rona Wilson’s Plea

Arsenal Report Can’t Be Relied Upon, Pune Police Opposes Rona Wilson’s Plea Alleging Planting Of Materials

13/07/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The Pune police that was stripped of the investigations into the Bhima-Koregaon Elgar-Parishad case by the Union government in January 2020, has filed an affidavit on the same lines as the National Investigation Agency(NIA) opposing activist Rona Wilson’s petition seeking to quash the case before the Bombay High Court.
The affidavit filed by Deputy Commissioner of Police Shrinivas Muralidhar Ghadge seeks dismissal of Wilson’s petition on grounds of maintainability, including stating that the report by USA based Arsenal Consulting is not admissible as it is not a part of any of the charge sheets filed by the investigating agencies.
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Pune Police opposes Rona Wilson’s plea alleging ‘planted’ evidence, calls it ‘premature’

13/07/2021

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

The Pune Police said the forensic report of the US-based consultancy was not a part of the chargesheet and can be looked into by the trial court and need to be dealt with currently by the high court.
The Pune Police has recently opposed a petition filed by Rona Wilson, an accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, seeking to quash a chargesheet filed against them claiming the charges levelled were based on material that was allegedly planted on electronic devices of the activist.
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Also read: Surendra Gadling’s Computer Was Attacked, Incriminating Documents Planted: Arsenal Consulting (The Wire, July 7)

Govt Can Find Out Who Planted Documents, Says Cyber Expert

Govt Can Find Out Who Planted Documents, Says Cyber Expert

The Quint / by Poonam Agarwal

An attack of this nature requires intelligence, time and money, said Sandeep Shukla.
“It should be noted that this is one of the most serious cases involving evidence tampering that Arsenal has ever encountered…”
Excerpts from Arsenal Consulting forensic report
That’s what President Mark Spencer of Arsenal Consulting, the US-based forensic agency, said about the agency’s latest report that reveals that incriminating evidence was planted in the computer of Surendra Gadling, who was arrested under UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) for alleged links with banned CPI (Maoist) group in the Bhima Koregaon case.
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Also read: Explainer: Arsenal Report on Surendra Gadling (The Leaflet, June 7, 2021)

Can ‘Planted Malware’ Report Help the Accused in Court?

Can ‘Planted Malware’ Report Help the Accused in Court?

Can ‘Planted Malware’ Report Help the Accused in Court?

08/07/2021

The Quint / by Karan Tripathi

Bhima Koregaon accused can milk the Arsenal report to discredit the NIA’s entire case during the trial.
A day after the death of activist Father Stan Swamy, who had been under arrest in the Bhima Koregaon case under UAPA for alleged Maoist links, a report by Arsenal Consulting, an American forensic agency, has claimed that evidence was ‘planted’ on the computer of another activist, Surendra Gadling, another accused in the case, also currently under arrest.
The malware that targeted Gadling’s computer via emails also had several other Bhima-Koregaon accused, including Stan Swamy and Sudha Bhardwaj copied on the mails, Arsenal has claimed.
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Explainer: Arsenal Report on Surendra Gadling

06/07/2021

The Leaflet / by Nihalsing Rathod

In light of the recent revelation that the documents on Surendra Gadling’s computer, which has been used as evidence to arrest activists under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the Bhima Koregaon case over the last three years were planted by hackers into the computer, Nihalsing Rathod explains what the report containing the revelation states, and answers questions that may cross one’s mind in light of this information.
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Surendra Gadling’s Computer Was Attacked, Incriminating Documents Planted: Arsenal Consulting

06/07/2021

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

Forensic digital investigations have raised serious questions about the Elgar Parishad investigation.
For over 20 months, lawyer and human rights defender Surendra Gadling’s computer was attacked and surveilled upon, and incriminating documents were planted on it. Gadling, one of the first people to be arrested among the 16 human rights activists, lawyers and academics in custody in the ongoing Elgar Parishad case, was cyber attacked since February 16, 2016 – two years before he was finally arrested on April 6, 2018. Fourteen significant documents, on the basis of which the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has held him in jail for over three years, were planted on his computer using a malware NetWire.
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Evidence found on a second Indian activist’s computer was planted, report says

06/07/2021

The Washington Post / by Niha Masih and Joanna Slater

The two activists were jailed in 2018 and accused of plotting an insurgency against the government. A new forensic report concludes they also shared something else: They were both victims of the same hacker who planted evidence on their computers.
The finding raises fresh doubts about a case that rights groups consider an effort to crack down on critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. More than a dozen activists have been imprisoned without trial under a stringent anti-terrorism law that rarely results in convictions.
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NDTV (July 6):
@OnReality_Check | “Indian government should name the attacker. We only analyse evidence put in our hands”: Mark G Spencer, President Arsenal Consulting, on #BhimaKoregaon case

en | 4:05min | 2021
Watch video

Video: The Bizarre Evidence That Put Stan Swamy & The BK 16 in Prison

Video: The Bizarre Evidence That Put Stan Swamy & The BK 16 in Prison


en | 6:41min | 2021

By The Wire Video

On Monday, 5th July, Fr. Stan Swamy passed away after eight months in prison – conditions that exacerbated his Parkinson’s. He was one of the jailed human-rights advocates also known as the Bhima Koregaon 16.
The evidence that surrounds the case is bizarre. The Wire breaks down the story, looking into the investigation conducted by Arsenal Consulting, a Boston-based digital forensics firm that has claimed the evidence for the arrests of the activists, was planted on their computers.
Watch video

Special court rejects pleas for cloned copies of digital hard disc recovered by investigating agency

Special court rejects pleas for cloned copies of digital hard disc recovered by investigating agency

The Times of India / by Swati Deshpande

A special court in Mumbai on Wednesday rejected applications made by few of the 2018 Elgar Parishad case accused for cloned copies of digital hard disc recovered by the investigating agency.
The special National Investigation Agency Judge court said it heard arguments advanced for and against grant of such clone copies and by a common order rejected five applications.
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Also read: In Bhima-Koregaon Case, More Damning Signs of Planted Evidence (article14, April 2021)

Victim of State Hunt: Kerala MPs, MLAs, Eminent Persons Urge Hany Babu’s Release

Victim of State Hunt: Kerala MPs, MLAs, Eminent Persons Urge Hany Babu’s Release

Victim of State Hunt: Kerala MPs, MLAs, Eminent Persons Urge Hany Babu’s Release

08/05/2021

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

‘It is a gross human rights violation that even during this alarming situation falsely accused under trials are being tortured by the state.’
Four Kerala MPs, two MLAs and a hundred academic voices, activists and eminent individuals from all walks of life have written an open letter for fellow Keralite Hany Babu, urging among other things, action to ensure that the jailed scholar is released before being exposed to COVID-19.
After raids by the NIA at his house in 2019 and 2020, Hany Babu was arrested on July 28 2020 in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case, after having been called to Mumbai for five days of interrogation.
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Stop hunting intellectuals: Kerala MPs, MLAs and academics demand Hany Babu’s release

07/05/2021

Maktoob / by Maktoob Staff

A group of more than 100 people from Kerala including Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha members, Kerala Assembly members, rights activists and academics have issued a statement expressing their solidarity to Hany Babu M.T, a Keralite and an assistant professor at Delhi University, who has been languishing in Mumbai jail for the past nine months under draconian UAPA in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case.
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Bombay HC Seeks Maha Govt’s Reply on Pleas of Activists Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen

Bombay HC Seeks Maha Govt’s Reply on Pleas of Activists Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen

Bombay HC seeks NIA, MHA and Maharashtra’s response to Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen’s challenge to their UAPA prosecution

04/05/2021

The Leaflet / by The Leaflet

The Bombay High Court Tuesday asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the state of Maharashtra to file their respective responses to the petitions filed by Rona Wilson and Professor Shoma Sen, accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, challenging the decision of the Maharashtra Government granting sanction to prosecute them under the stringent anti-terrorism Unlawful Activities (Prevention) (UAPA) Act.
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Bombay HC Seeks Maha Govt’s Reply on Pleas of Activists Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen

04/05/2021

News 18 / by pti

A bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale also directed the NIA, which is conducting a probe into the case, to file its reply to Sen’s petition.
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Maharashtra government to file its replies to petitions filed by activists Rona Wilson and Shoma Sen, seeking quashing of charges against them in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case. A bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale also directed the NIA, which is conducting a probe into the case, to file its reply to Sen’s petition.
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Prof Shoma Sen claims evidence forged, planted on digital devices; moves Bombay HC challenging UAPA charges

15/04/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

Sen was arrested for her involvement in connection to the violence in Bhima Koregaon case and has been in judicial detention since then without bail.
Bhima Koregaon accused Shoma Sen has filed a petition before the Bombay High Court challenging the charges slapped against her by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Sen, in her plea, contended that the prosecution’s case against her is built on evidence which was planted on digital devices belonging to a co-accused Rona Wilson.
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Prof Shoma Sen challenges prosecution under UAPA; says evidence against her is unfounded, forged and planted on co-accused’s digital devices

14/04/2021

The Leaflet / by The Leaflet

An accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, Professor Shoma Sen, has petitioned the Bombay High Court challenging her prosecution under the stringent anti-terrorism Unlawful Activities (Prevention) (UAPA) Act.
Sen, a former Head of Department of English at Nagpur University, alleged that that the case against her had been built entirely on unfounded, forged, hearsay evidence that was planted on digital devices belonging to a co-accused-Rhona Willson, which (devices) were “illegally” seized by the police in complete violation of all safeguards and procedures mandated under applicable law.
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Also read: Bhima Koregaon Accused Rona Wilson Moves Bombay High Court Seeking SIT Probe Into The Report That ‘Incriminating Materials Were Planted On His Laptop’ (Live Law, Feb 2021)

NIA Denies Hacking Rona Wilson’s Laptop / Objects to entertaining petition based on Arsenal Report

NIA Denies Hacking Rona Wilson’s Laptop / Objects to entertaining petition based on Arsenal Report

NIA Denies Hacking Rona Wilson’s Laptop In Bhima Koregaon Case; Says Arsenal Consulting Has No Locus To Give Opinion Of Sub-Judice Matter

01/05/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has denied the report by digital forensics firm Arsenal Consulting, which concluded that incriminating material, including a conspiracy to kill the Prime Minister and overthrow the government, was planted on Elgaar Parishad – Bhima Koregaon accused, researcher Rona Wilson’s laptop.
The NIA made these claims in an affidavit to oppose interim relief to Wilson, stating his petition before the Bombay High Court was not maintainable.
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Rona Wilson can´t rely on Forensic Report by US firm to seek quashing of Case: NIA to Bombay High Court

01/05/2020

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

The petitioner can rely upon the same only during the trial when evidence is led and not in a plea seeking quashing, the NIA submitted.
The forensic report by US firm, Arsenal Consulting cited by Bhima Koregaon accused Rona Wilson to claim innocence, is not part of the chargesheet and cannot, therefore, be relied upon by the accused to seek quashing of chargesheet, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has told the Bombay High Court.
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NIA objects to entertaining petition based on Arsenal Consulting Report

30/04/2021

The Leaflet / by Nihalsing B Rathod

THE Bhima Koregaon case came into the spotlight again when The Washington Post made a sensational revelation that the electronic evidence being used against the activists in the Bhima Koregaon case was planted. It relied on the report prepared by a digital forensics firm, M/s Arsenal Consulting, which was approached by the defence lawyer of one of the accused, Rona Wilson, for examining an electronic copy of his seized laptop.
Wilson, who has been an under-trial in the Bhima Koregaon case since June 6th, 2018, recently approached the Bombay High Court, invoking Article 226 of the Constitution of India, and Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, seeking the quashing of sanctions to prosecute him and others under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
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Also read: Why Sudhir Dhawale’s acquittal in a 2014 case of Naxal involvement is relevant to the Bhima Koregaon arrests (The Caravan, June 2018)