The prime objective of the city police to probe the alleged data theft by IT Grids Private India Ltd, at the behest of the AP government, is to ascertain the quantum of deletion of names from the electoral rolls, said the Hyderabad Police Commissioner, Anjani Kumar.
Anjani Kumar said that there is enough evidence to show that details of Andhra Pradesh voters who do not support the Telugu Desam, and are currently not living in their constituencies, were deleted by “key persons” associated with the political party.
The deletion of voters’ names was done following a data analysis done by IT Grids India Pvt Ltd, a company located in Hyderabad, which developed an application called SevaMitra to collect personal information of AP citizens.
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Dasarath Ram Reddy of Yousufguda had lodged a complaint with the S.R Nagar police alleging a criminal angle in the survey conducted by IT Grids India Private Ltd. He alleged that the firm had intentionally collected the information and deleted names of persons after obtaining their political preferences.
Voter details Investigation of the case
The police investigating the allegation of deletion of voters from electoral rolls have evidence to prove the deletion was based on political preference and affiliation of voters, mostly non-TD supporters.
“There is an element of truth in the complaint and inquiries revealed the criminality involved. Based on that, a case was registered,” said Commissioner Anjani Kumar.
Explaining the modus operandi of IT Grids and SevaMitra, Mr Kumar said, “The IT Company developed a questionnaire to learn the preferences of every citizen in AP and shared the information with TD booth-level SevaMitra conveners, who again took up a field-level enquiry and then collected Aadhaar card details along with political party preferences.
“The data collected was saved in the SevaMitra application and was shared with the IT Company which conducted an analysis and forwarded it to a ‘key person’ of the party, who falsified the voter information with an intention to delete the voter details, with the help of officials who prepare the list.” During investigation, the police found that the details of voters who have revealed their political preference for a party other than the TD, and those who are not living in their constituencies, were deleted.
The police have collected evidence supporting their claims and shared the same on Wednesday.
Electoral deleted candidates
“KandulaRangareddy, KandulaNagamani, both natives of AP who are currently living in Amberpet have voter ID cards, but their details were deleted. Another two persons, V. Venugopal Reddy and Nagaveni, have their voter IDs, but their details are deleted. There are several such cases identified during the probe. The total number of deleted voters has to be ascertained,” Mr Kumar said.
The data collected by IT Grids was again sent to a ‘key person’ for further action. “We suspect that the key person might be a code name of some important segment in the entire modus operandi. We are trying to find out about ‘key person’ and his role,” said Anjani Kumar.
To a question, he said they will seek information about IT Grids Company and its database from Amazon and Google. “They have to provide us whenever we need any data for investigation. They have to go by the law of the land,” Anjani Kumar added.
Four teams of the Hyderabad police are on the job of tracing D. Ashok, director of the IT Company facing allegations of data breach. He is said to be taking shelter in Andhra Pradesh. Notices have been served to him to surrender before the police.