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Evidence planted to frame activists in Bhima Koregaon case, says Washington Post report


NEW DELHI:  Incriminating evidence was planted on the activists involved in the Bhima Koregaon case, an investigation by a top American newspaper has revealed.

According to the Washington Post, more than 30 documents that were part of the evidence listed by the prosecution was planted on the laptop of one of the accused activist as per a new forensic analysis by Arsenal Consulting, a Massachusetts-based digital forensics firm.

This is the second independent forensic report in the same case that says the evidence cited by the investigating agencies was planted.

As per the new report, 22 additional documents were delivered to the computer of the activist by the same attacker, which planted 10 documents as per the previous report.

The documents, as per the company, were placed in a hidden folder on the computer.

It includes details of purported meetings of Maoist militants, discussions on fund transfers, communications between purported Maoist leaders and concerns over state crackdown.

According to the Post, the two reports by Arsenal focus on a laptop, which belongs to Rona Wilson, an activist.

In February, lawyers for Wilson submitted the first report to a court in Mumbai, which is yet to decide on the plea.

According to the report, Wilson’s computer was first compromised on June 13, 2016, when he was sent emails that appeared to be from fellow accused Varavara Rao, which suggested that he click on a link to download a document. 

Wilson opened the document at 6.18 pm on the day, which led to the installation of the NetWire malware on his computer.

The same attacker was found to have compromised Wilson’s computer multiple times from June 2016 to April 17, 2018, when Wilson’s and the homes of others accused were raided in connection with the case.

The case pertains to the violent incidents which occurred on January 1, 2018 at Bhima Koregaon, near Pune during the Dalit organisations’ commemoration of 200th anniversary of the victory of Koregaon Battle. 

The Pune police alleged that violence was incited by the Elgaar Parishad meeting held at Pune the previous day.

It was alleged that the meeting was organised by persons having nexus with banned Maoist organisations.