Tuesday, Jul 05, 2022
Outlook.com

A Remote-Access ‘Conspiracy’

A US-based digital forensic firm’s Bhima-Koregaon findings come as a shot in the arm for those who believe the case was fabricated to frame the 16 accused under UAPA

A Remote-Access ‘Conspiracy’

Arsenal Consulting, a Massachusetts-based digital forensic company, has found that malware was used to insert incriminating letters into the computer of prisoners’ rights activist Rona Wilson, one of the 16 people incarcerated in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon ‘Maoist conspiracy’ case. According to Arsenal, this “is one of the most serious cases involving evidence tampering that Arsenal has ever encountered, based on various metrics, which include the vast timespan between the delivery of the first and last incriminating documents”. With the authenticity of key evidence now under a cloud, those who have been claiming that none of the accused had any role in violence related to the Elgaar Parishad’s event at Bhima-­Koregaon, a village near Pune, on January 1, 2018, are feeling vindicated. The letters—allegedly mentioning a plot to kill PM Narendra Modi—are key evidence on whose basis the ‘BK16’ (as they have come to be known in the campaigns for their release) are facing trial under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for alleged links with the outlawed CPI(Maoist).

For Mumbai-based filmmaker Koel Sen, the Arsenal report is a shot in the arm in their fight for justice. Koel says her mother Shoma Sen, a women’s rights activist and former English professor at Nagpur University, should be immediately released on bail along with the other accused as the report corroborates their claims. “I don’t understand why they are being kept in prison anymore. According to the UAPA, if the prima facie evidence proved to be wrong and planted, that itself requires an ­investigation,” adds Koel.

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