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After New Bhima Koregaon Revelations, Bombay High Court Can and Must Act

After New Bhima Koregaon Revelations, Bombay High Court Can and Must Act

After New Bhima Koregaon Revelations, Bombay High Court Can and Must Act

18/06/2022

The Quint / by Vakasha Sachdev

The assessment of these damning revelations can’t wait till trial, HC should set up a commission of inquiry.
In September 2018, when the Bhima Koregaon case was still in its infancy and the Maharashtra Police were trying to arrest the second set of activists (including Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha), Justice DY Chandrachud of the Supreme Court had said:
“Circumstances have been drawn to our notice to cast a cloud on whether the Maharashtra police has in the present case acted as fair and impartial investigating agency. Sufficient material has been placed before the Court bearing on the need to have an independent investigation.”
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Bhima Koregaon Case: New Report Ties Pune Police With ‘Fabricated Evidence’

17/06/2022

The Quint / by The Quint

Independent investigations seem to suggest that the evidence in the case may just been very corrupt.
“We generally don’t tell people who targeted them, but I’m kind of tired of watching… These guys are not going after terrorists. They’re going after human rights defenders and journalists. And it’s not right,” an unnamed security analyst told American magazine WIRED.
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Also read:
● Police Linked to Hacking Campaign to Frame Indian Activists (Wired / June 16, 2022)

Police Linked to Hacking Campaign to Frame Indian Activists / Report links cop to hacking bid on Bhima accused

Police Linked to Hacking Campaign to Frame Indian Activists / Report links cop to hacking bid on Bhima accused


Cartoon by PenPencilDraw

Police Linked to Hacking Campaign to Frame Indian Activists

16/06/2022

Wired.com / by Andy Greenberg

New details connect police in India to a plot to plant evidence on victims’ computers that led to their arrest.
Police forces around the world have increasingly used hacking tools to identify and track protesters, expose political dissidents’ secrets, and turn activists’ computers and phones into inescapable eavesdropping bugs. Now, new clues in a case in India connect law enforcement to a hacking campaign that used those tools to go an appalling step further: planting false incriminating files on targets’ computers that the same police then used as grounds to arrest and jail them.
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by Andy Greenberg / @a_greenberg (June 16):
A wild, appalling story: A group of hackers fabricated evidence on the PCs of Indian human rights activists who were then arrested for terrorism and jailed. Now researchers have found a direct link between those hackers and the police making the arrests.
Read full thread


Fabricated evidence planted to implicate Elgaar activists, says US magazine

18/06/2022

The Telegraph / by Pheroze L. Vincent

Maharashtra govt and Centre have resisted the admission of the multiple revelations of hacking as evidence and consistently opposed bail in the case.
America’s Wired magazine has alleged links between Pune police and hackers who it says planted fabricated evidence on some of the accused in the Elgaar Parishad-Maoist links case, which witnessed the arrest of 16 activists, writers, academics and lawyers.
Earlier, two digital security firms in the US had revealed the planting of electronic evidence – claims that the prosecution has rejected, with the investigators ignoring calls to review the evidence.
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Security Researchers Claim Link Between Pune Police And Hacking Campaign Against Bhima Koregaon Accused

16/06/2022

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

The recovery email id and phone number on accounts of Wilson, Rao and Babu were allegedly linked to a Pune police officer.
Security researchers in the United States have claimed that they unearthed new evidence that links the Pune police to the hacking of e-mail accounts of activists Rona Wilson and Varavara Rao and Delhi University professor Hany Babu. This is the first time that the state’s involvement has been directly established in the case.
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Report links cop to hacking bid on Bhima accused

16/06/2022

Hindustan Times / by HT Correspondent

There are links between a Pune police official and a hacking campaign that targeted suspects in the Bhima Koregaon case, a report by news website Wired said on Thursday, citing information from an unnamed whistleblower from a company that provided email services to the targets.
The report is the latest in a series of clues that bring into question the provenance of the evidence used in the Bhima Koregaon case, in which several activists have been accused of terrorism through their alleged links to the extremist Maoist rebellion.
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Pune Police allegedly planted fake evidence on devices of Bhima Koregaon accused, reports Wired

16/06/2022

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The recovery email id and phone number on accounts of Rona Wilson, Varavara Rao and Hany Babu were linked to a police officer, a cybersecurity firm has claimed.
A US-based cybersecurity company has claimed that the Pune Police hacked electronic devices owned by activists Rona Wilson, Varavara Rao and Hany Babu and planted fake evidence on them, reported Wired magazine in the US.
Read more


Also read:
The unravelling of a conspiracy: were the 16 charged with plotting to kill India’s prime minister framed? (The Guardian / Aug 2021)
Explainer: Arsenal Report on Surendra Gadling (The Leaflet / July 2021)
They were Accused of plotting to overthrow the Modi government – The evidence was planted, a new report says (Washington Post / Feb 2021)

As Bhima Koregaon case completes its fourth anniversary, State reprisal is writ large in its twists and turns

As Bhima Koregaon case completes its fourth anniversary, State reprisal is writ large in its twists and turns

The Leaflet / by Nihalsing Rathod

As we have completed four years since the first arrest in the Elgar Parishad case, a quick recap of how 16 renowned human rights activists were jailed may be useful.
There is much more than meets the eye. Maybe we will have a few answers after the trial ends, but not all. It would be difficult to say what exactly caused the arrest of these 16 eminent persons, but we can definitely relook at the turn of events and try to understand what really happened.
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Also read:
‘We are all prisoners of conscience’, say those facing trial in Bhima Koregaon case on the occasion of fourth anniversary of their arrests [read letter] (The Leaflet / June 2022)
3 years after Bhima Koregaon: How criminal law was violated (The Leaflet / June 2021)

Pune Police Evade The Law By Dodging Questions On Use Of Pegasus Spyware On Indian Citizens

Pune Police Evade The Law By Dodging Questions On Use Of Pegasus Spyware On Indian Citizens

Pune Police Evade The Law By Dodging Questions On Use Of Israeli Spyware On Indian Citizens

03/04/2022

Artice 14 / by Saurav Das

Despite multiple right-to-information applications asking whether the Pune police purchased or used military-grade Pegasus spyware in the Bhima-Koregaon case, its information officer evaded an answer, refusing to admit the questions on technical grounds. Experts said the police replies were legally untenable and dismissive of a growing demand for greater transparency and accountability in India’s surveillance framework. 
A Pune police refusal to reply to right-to-information (RTI) queries about the use of Israeli spyware Pegasus raise several questions about whether the military-grade hacking weapon was deployed in implicating lawyers, activists, and academics in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad (BK-EP) case, which invokes India’s draconian counter-terrorism law,  the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967.
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Media in India: Shackled and spied on

03/05/2022

The Leaflet / by Sukumar Muralidharan

Early in April, the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting [MIB] ordered 22 YouTube channels blocked, 18 based in India and four in Pakistan. Also blocked were four social media accounts and one news website. Later in the month, another 16 YouTube channels were blocked, ten in India and all others in the neighbouring State, alongside one Facebook account.
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Also read:
Leaked Data Shows Surveillance Net in Elgar Parishad Case May Have Crossed a Line (The Wire / July 2021)

Activist Rona Wilson was targeted by two separate hacker groups, says report

Activist Rona Wilson was targeted by two separate hacker groups, says report

Rona Wilson Targeted in 10-Year Cyber Espionage Effort by Two Groups: Report

11/02/2022

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

Findings by US experts under the cybersecurity firm SentinelOne reveal that Wilson was targeted in a nearly decade-long effort – a time frame significantly longer than earlier realised.
A new report has found that activist Rona Wilson – incarcerated over what the Pune Police and NIA believe are his connections to the Elgar Parishad case – was targeted by two groups who took up cyber crime campaigns against him.
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Indian activist charged with terrorism was targeted by hackers linked to prominent cyber espionage attacks, new report finds

10/02/2022

The Washington Post / by Niha Masih and Gerry Shih

In early 2021, India was jolted by revelations that a jailed human rights activist and vocal government critic was targeted by hackers who planted incriminating evidence on his laptop before he was arrested on terrorism charges.
Now, a year later, a report by U.S. experts says the activist, Rona Wilson, was targeted by two separate groups, including one group that has been linked to widely documented cyberespionage campaigns against military targets in China and Pakistan, India’s top foreign adversaries.
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Activist Rona Wilson was targeted by two separate hacker groups, says report

10/02/2022

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

One of the groups has reportedly been linked to cyberespionage efforts against military targets in China and Pakistan.
Activist Rona Wilson, who has been named as an accused person in the Bhima Koregaon case, was targeted by two separate groups of hackers before he was arrested, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
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Opposition MPs urge Narendra Modi to free jailed activist / Full statement

Opposition MPs urge Narendra Modi to free jailed activist / Full statement

MPs write to PM, asking for immediate release of all arrested in Bhima Koregaon case

01/02/2022

By CPI (M)

click to enlarge

Bhima Koregaon case: Opposition MPs urge Narendra Modi to free jailed activists

07/02/2022

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The MPs alleged that evidence was planted against the accused persons.
Members of several Opposition parties have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking immediate release of academicians, lawyers and activists detained in the Bhima Koregaon case.
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Grant Bail to Activists Arrested in Elgar Parishad Case, MPs Say In Letter to Modi

07/02/2022

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

The letter, signed by 20 MPs, expresses “deep concern at the media and cyber-forensic expert reports indicating that Indian citizens have been attacked with illegal cyber weapons”
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Also read:
Arsenal Report No. 4 Confirms Pegasus Attack on IPhone of Rona Wilson, Key BK Accused (PUCL / Dec 2021)

Arsenal Consultancy has no locus standi to give opinion in Shoma Sen’s plea, says NIA

Arsenal Consultancy has no locus standi to give opinion in Shoma Sen’s plea, says NIA

The Hindu / by Sonam Saigal

The digital forensic analyst said false evidence was planted against the retired professor to implicate her in the case.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) told the Bombay High Court on Thursday that Arsenal Consultancy, a digital forensic analyst that said false evidence was planted against retired Prof. Shoma Sen who is an accused in the Bhima Koregaon caste violence case, has “no locus standi to give opinion without court’s permission”.
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Also read:
Rona Wilson’s iPhone Infected With Pegasus Spyware, Says New Forensic Report (The Wire / Dec 2021)

Rona Wilson’s iPhone Infected With Pegasus Spyware, Says New Forensic Report

Rona Wilson’s iPhone Infected With Pegasus Spyware, Says New Forensic Report

Rona Wilson’s iPhone Infected With Pegasus Spyware, Says New Forensic Report

17/12/2021

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

Arsenal Consulting was engaged by Wilson’s defence lawyers to study the electronic evidence submitted against him in the Elgar Parishad case.
Rona Wilson, a prisoners’ rights activist and academic based in Delhi, was a victim of both surveillance and incriminating document delivery for close to a year before his arrest on June 6, 2018, according to a new digital forensics report.
Wilson, originally from Kerala and who continued with his social activism work in Delhi, was one of the first persons to be arrested in the Elgar Parishad case.
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Phone of Indian activist jailed on terrorism charges was infected with Pegasus spyware, new analysis finds

17/12/2021

The Washington Post / by Niha Masih

A smartphone belonging to jailed Indian activist Rona Wilson was infiltrated using NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware before his arrest, according to a new forensic analysis by Amnesty International’s Security Lab that reignites questions about the use of malware attacks against dissidents and government critics in India.
The analysis by Amnesty showed that two backups of an iPhone 6s belonging to Wilson, who has been in jail on terrorism charges since June 2018, had digital traces showing infection by the Pegasus surveillance tool, which its developer, the Israeli cybersecurity firm NSO Group, has said has been licensed only to government agencies.
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Pegasus spyware ‘found on phone of jailed critic of Narendra Modi’

17/12/2021

The Guardian / by Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Michael Safi

Analysis of Rona Wilson’s phone found evidence it was infected with NSO Group spyware three months before arrest
The Indian government’s case against Rona Wilson, a jailed Indian activist and critic of Narendra Modi’s administration, is expected to face new scrutiny following allegations that his mobile phone was hacked using Israeli-made spyware just months before his controversial arrest.
Read more


Also read:
Leaked Data Shows Surveillance Net in Elgar Parishad Case May Have Crossed a Line (The Wire / July 2021)
They were accused of plotting to overthrow the Modi government. The evidence was planted, a new report says (Washington Post / Feb 2021)
Prison-rights activist Rona Wilson’s hard disk contained malware that allowed remote access (The Caravan / March 2020)

The charges against Sudha Bharadwaj

The charges against Sudha Bharadwaj

The Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde

Allegations are mainly based on documents purportedly retrieved from electronic devices seized in the case.
… Police had charged her with recruiting for the CPI-Maoist, mobilising funds for the outfit and meeting “undercover” operatives. Allegations are mainly based on documents purportedly retrieved from electronic devices seized in the case.
Read more


Also read:
In Bhima-Koregaon Case, More Damning Signs of Planted Evidence (article14 / April 2021)
Indian activists jailed on terrorism charges were on list with surveillance targets (Washington Post / July 2021)
Surendra Gadling’s Computer Was Attacked, Incriminating Documents Planted: Arsenal Consulting (The Wire / July 2021)

Maoist leader linked to ‘plot to kill PM Modi’ arrested in Jharkhand

Maoist leader linked to ‘plot to kill PM Modi’ arrested in Jharkhand

The Indian Express / by Chandan Haygunde

Prashant Bose, wanted in several criminal cases, is the secretary of the CPI (Maoist) eastern regional bureau.
Top CPI (Maoist) leader Prashant Bose alias Kishan Da, who was recently arrested by Jharkhand Police, is one of the many accused named in the Elgaar Parishad case. Bose was named in connection with a “Maoist communication” that allegedly mentioned a plot to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Read more


Also read:
The unravelling of a conspiracy: were the 16 charged with plotting to kill India’s prime minister framed? (The Guardian / Aug 2021)
Explainer: Arsenal Report on Surendra Gadling (The Leaflet / Jul 2021)
They were accused of plotting to overthrow the Modi government. The evidence was planted, a new report says. (Washington Post / Feb 2021)