Karnataka voters' data theft: DC to give report to EC

Source: DHNS | Published on 3rd December 2022, 9:19 PM | State News | Don't Miss |

Hubballi: The Election Commission has instructed Deputy Commission Gurudatta Hegde to submit a report regarding the incident of alleged voters' data theft efforts, which was reported by Congress leaders.

A day after Congress leaders caught three persons allegedly engaged in pre-poll opinion survey for Delhi-based ASR Consultancy Services Private Limited, at New Anand Nagar in Old Hubballi, and lodged a police complaint suspecting the possibility of deletion of names in the voters' list after collecting details from voters through this survey, Hegde visited Old Hubballi Police Station on Friday, and collected details.

"I am collecting details. A thorough inquiry would be conducted, and the report would be submitted to the Election Commission at the earliest," Hegde said.

Clarifying that the agency was found to be holding the survey independently, without any permission from the police or the district administration, Hegde stated that details would be gathered about the information being collected during the survey and possible purposes for which that can be used.

Congress leader Rajat Ullagaddimath, who had lodged the police complaint, was summoned to the police station, and the deputy commissioner collected information from him also. He was asked to send an e-mail to the deputy commissioner if he had to raise more points regarding the issue.

Later, Ullagaddimath sent an e-mail to the deputy commissioner's office, alleging that police were hands-in-glove with ASR Consulting Services Private Limited which was conducting the survey.

"Despite having the knowledge of the survey being conducted, police kept mum. As the three accused were working for salary and were innocent, managing director and the local in-charge of the company should also be added as accused. The probe should be handed over to another investigative agency, and not the local police," Ullagaddimath said.

'99k deletions in dist since 2018'

Deputy Commissioner Gurudatta Hegde has informed that names of around 99,000 persons have been deleted from the electoral roll in Dharwad district since January 2018.
"The names deleted included 47,000 voters who were found in the voters' list of more than one place (duplicate voters). Those who passed away, and those shifted to other places are also deleted," he said.

Due to common photographs and names of duplicate voters, they get flagged in the Election Commission's website itself, and they get deleted as per procedure. Based on the data of death certificates we have, BLOs visit such houses, get Form No 7, and delete such names after confirmation of death, he noted.

Stressing that the voters' list is transparent, it is available on Election Commission's website and it is also shared with political parties, Hegde stated that the list of deleted, added and shifted names in the voters' list is now being shared with political parties every week, as per the direction of the EC.

If there is some error in deletion, parties can bring that to the notice of the officials concerned, and that would be corrected immediately. Strict action would also be taken against the erring officials if names are illegally deleted, he added.

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