Police summons suspended IAS officers accused of voter data theft by pvt firm

PTI, Dec 7, 2022, 4:36 PM IST

Two Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officers, suspended in connection with the alleged voter data theft by a private firm, have been summoned, a police officer said on Wednesday.

According to the officer, K Srinivas and S Rangappa were asked to depose before the investigating officer today.

However, they have sought a week’s time to appear for questioning, he added.

Srinivas was the deputy commissioner of Bengaluru Urban District, and Rangappa was the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, who also served as the Additional District Election Officer, when the alleged electoral data theft took place.

They were suspended on November 26 as they were in-charge of those constituencies which allegedly saw large-scale election data fraud.

The Election Commission had ordered reviewing the addition and deletion in the electoral roll in Shivaji Nagar, Chickpet and Mahadevapura Assembly segments.

The investigation would also cover Chilume Educational Cultural and Rural Development Institute (Chilume), which is at the centre of controversy. “We will probe whether it is a trust or a firm,” the police officer said.

The Chilume Trust had allegedly got permission from the BBMP for voter awareness drive ‘free of cost’.

The Congress has charged the Trust with appointing a large number of Block-level Officers (BLOs), which usually should be done by the government, and issuing identity cards to them.

The BLOs then conducted a door-to-door survey of voters using their BLO identity card, the party had alleged.

Congress further said the Trust ‘sub-leased’ its job to some other agencies as well.

After the matter came to light, the BBMP terminated the permission granted to Chilume Trust. The Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka, too, intervened and an FIR was registered in this connection. Based on the FIR, the investigations are underway.

Based on the FIR, police arrested many people including the trust director Krishnappa Ravikumar.

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