A day after activist Stan Swamy’s death, American forensic agency, Boston based Arsenal Consulting has released a report which claims that incriminating evidence was planted on the computer of Surendra Gadling. Gadling who, like Stan Swamy, was booked under the UAPA for alleged links to the banned CPI(Maoist) in the Bhima Koregaon Case.
The report provides evidence that Gadling and a number of other accused in the case, have had their computers planted with documents. These documents have formed the core of the NIA’s accusations against them. The report shows how Surendra Gadling’s computer had been compromised two years before he was arrested. His computer was hacked via emails that he received, on which others like Stan Swamy were cc-ed.
“It should be noted that this is one of the most serious cases involving evidence-tampering that Arsenal has ever encountered,” According to the Arsenal Report.
Swamy had continually argued even in his bail applications, that the evidence presented by the NIA against him of Maoist links and instigating riots have been fabricated.
Earlier this year, The Washington Post had reported on a similar document from the same firm. They alleged that an unknown hacker had planted more than 30 documents on the Rona Wilson’s computer. Wilson is one of the accused in the BK-16 case.
The Arsenal report goes on to mention the way in which the hacking was done.
According to the report, at least 14 incriminating letters were planted in his computer from February 2016 to November 2017. This was done by “sending him identical malware (but packaged differently)” in the disguise of emails from acquaintances, through February 2016. The documents were planted by the same attacker who planted 30 files in Rona Wilson’s system. The letters discuss Maoist attacks, future plans for the same, and funds for operations. The NIA have used these letters as a foundation for their case against the imprisoned activists.
Among those copied on the emails are other accused in the case, like Stan Swamy and Sudha Bharadwaj. According to the report, “by February 2016, the attacker had compromised not just Gadling’s computer, but also the email accounts of multiple defendants in the Bhima Koregaon case.”
The NIA has refused to comment on the report, by saying that the issue is ‘sub judice’ i.e. that the particular matter is being currently considered by a judge or court.
The report clearly points to fabrication of the cases against many of the BK-16. With news of Stan Swamy’s death, it is clear that it is the aim of the state to punish these political prisoners, and make examples out of them to others, even when there is glaring proof that much of the so called evidence is fabricated.