Amaravati : In revelation of sorts, sleuths of Andhra Pradesh’s Crime Investigation Department, found that, the personal assistant of former State election commissioner, Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar, destroyed crucial evidence.
This is in connection with the ‘My life is under threat’ controversial letter (whose authenticity lies unconfirmed) allegedly written by the former SEC to the Home Ministry, seeking protection.
On March 18th, a five page letter created a political furore in AP. Allegedly addressed by Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar, the letter informed, he (Ex-SEC) and family members ‘might be attacked any time’ and sought protection. This comes after Ramesh Kumar deferred the local polls citing COVID-19 outbreak in AP against the desperate attempts of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s government to hold polls.
The letter which disturbed the political waters of AP, resulting in Rajya Sabha MP Vijaya Sai Reddy filing a complaint with the CID seeking investigation.
The preliminary investigation found the PA of Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar destroyed evidence. A highly placed source (quoted verbatim) said , “On 14th of April, CID received a complaint from MP Vijaya Sai Reddy, alleging that, a letter written on March 18th sent by Ex-SEC- Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar was not initiated in the State election office but ‘might’ have been drafted outside. He (MP) raised a suspicion that the signature on the letter might not be of the Ex-SEC’.
Further adding, “The personal assistant of former –SEC, K. Sambha Murthy of AP-state election commission, was one of the many who was questioned by CID. He confessed, that, a day before the Supreme Court ’s verdict on AP local polls, that is March 17th , Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar obtained the e-mail address of home ministry.
The PA Murthy informed CID, that , soon after SC delivered its verdict, Ramesh Kumar called him inside his chamber and dictated a 5 page letter. Later, the file was transferred from the laptop to desk using a pen-drive. ‘‘After taking the printout, the PA reportedly took the signature of the EX-SEC Ramesh and scanned the copy. He again via whatsapp desktop application, transferred the file to Ramesh’s mobile. The letter could be sent through his EX-SEC Ramesh's personal g-mail ID,’ the source informed.
To the surprise of CID officers investigating the case, evidence were erased. The source said, “ Personal assistant Sambha Murthy showed us the laptop where the particular letter has been deleted and the hard disk of the desktop has been formatted several times and new operating system has been installed. Besides this, the pen-drive used to transfer the file has been physically smashed. The PA has no answer to this’,
The AP CID has seized the laptop, desktop from the PA and attempts to retrieve the evidence using forensic tools . According to the CID sleuths, as a result of the tampering of the evidence , CID could not rule out the possibility of the letter being addressed from outside SEC office as alleged by MP Vijay Sai Reddy’.
It is to note that, AP government through an ordinance trimmed Nimmagadda's service from 5-3 years and subsequently removed from his office. Former Judge of Madras High Court Justice V Kanagaraj has been appointed as Andhra Pradesh State Election Commissioner (SEC) a day after AP government ousted N Ramesh Kumar through a special ordinance.