Hyderabad (PTI): Senior BJP leader B L Santhosh and three others were named as accused by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the case of alleged conspiracy to poach four TRS MLAs, officials said on Thursday.
Following directions from the Telangana High Court, the SIT, probing the case, also issued a second notice to BJP National General Secretary (Organisation) Santhosh, who is yet to appear before it.
In the fresh notice, he has been asked to appear before SIT for questioning on November 26 or November 28, official sources told PTI.
Based on the investigations so far, the SIT filed a memo in a special Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court here adding the names of Santhosh and two persons from Kerala--Jaggu Swami and Tushar Vellapally, besides B Srinivas, as accused in the case, they said.
Three persons -- Ramachandra Bharati alias Satish Sharma, Nanda Kumar and Simhayaji Swamy, were already named as accused in the case after a complaint was lodged by TRS MLA Pilot Rohith Reddy, among four legislators, against them on October 26.
As per the FIR copy, Rohith Reddy alleged that the accused offered him Rs 100 crore and in return the legislator had to leave the TRS and contest as a BJP candidate in the next Assembly election.
The Telangana High Court on Wednesday had directed the SIT to again serve notice on Santhosh under Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to Santhosh.
Earlier, the Telangana SIT had issued notices to Santhosh and the two persons from Kerala to appear before it for questioning on November 21. However, they did not turn up before the probe panel. Srinivas, who was also summoned by the SIT, had appeared before it.
The Telangana government on November 9 ordered the setting up of a seven-member SIT to probe into the alleged poaching of the MLAs.
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Mumbai: Dhanya Rajendran, co-founder, and editor-in-chief of The News Minute, has been honored with the 2022 National RedInk Award for 'Journalist of the Year' by the Mumbai Press Club. She received this recognition for leading her team in exposing the tampering of voter data in Karnataka ahead of the 2023 Assembly elections. Independent journalist Sharad Vyas has also been awarded the 'Journalist of the Year.'
The Journalist of the Year Award, an accolade for outstanding journalism in 2022, is a key component of the Redink Awards for Excellence in Journalism, instituted by the Mumbai Press Club 12 years ago. Past recipients include prominent journalists like Srinivasan Jain of NDTV 24X7, Ravish Kumar of NDTV India, Raj Kamal Jha of Indian Express, Faye D’Souza of Mirror Now, and the late Danish Siddiqui of Reuters.
The Mumbai Press Club stated, “Dhanya led a team of journalists who did a series of investigations during the Karnataka elections that confirmed what had been suspected all along – that the election process in India is not always free and fair.”
In November 2022, Dhanya spearheaded The News Minute’s investigation into electoral data fraud in Karnataka, uncovering malpractices ahead of the 2023 elections. The investigation prompted the Election Commission to order a review of voter lists in three constituencies in Bengaluru and led to the arrest of Krishnappa Ravikumar, the director of Chilume, the NGO behind the voter data fraud. Subsequently, the local government prohibited private organizations from collecting voter data.
The Mumbai Press Club’s statement noted, “The investigation uncovered a working prototype of how the electioneering process can be tampered with and then illustrated it through one constituency in Bengaluru to show how voter data was being manipulated.”
Dhanya, with over 20 years of journalism experience, has covered significant and overlooked news stories from South India throughout her career. Her focus on women’s rights, child sexual abuse, politics and elections, climate disasters, and human rights has garnered attention for several important stories at a national level.
Co-recipient of the 'Journalist of the Year' award, Sharad Vyas, "unearthed and published how the Indian Government's Intelligence Bureau imported the spy software Pegasus from an Israeli company, which had been officially denied all along."
Veteran journalist, columnist, and author Neerja Chowdhury received the RedInk 'Lifetime Achievement' award "for her contribution of over four decades as a reporter and analyst of political affairs and government."
The awards ceremony took place at the Royal Opera House in Mumbai on Saturday, December 2, where the honors were presented by Swantatra Senani GG Parikh and former Additional Solicitor General of India Indira Jaising.