HYDERABAD: The Telangana and the Andhra Pradesh police are in the middle of a face-off over investigation into a massive data breach by a private firm that promotes the TDP.The allegation against IT Grid India is that its Seva Mitra app developed for Telugu Desam Party has stolen the database with the TS government containing details of beneficiaries of its schemes.
In an alleged misuse of power, the AP police on Sunday tried to detain T Lokeshwar Reddy, the data analyst from Hyderabad who brought the breach to light by filing a case with the Cyberabad Police.
Indu Fortune Gated Community where Lokeshwar resides witnessed high-voltage drama as Andhra police personnel barged into his house and attempted to detain him even as his relatives protested.
The family alleged that AP police personnel who were in plainclothes threatened them with dire consequences in “the most vulgar language possible”.
As news of the highhandedness reached the Telangana police, they swung into action, foiling the Andhra police’s bid to take Lokeshwar into custody.“They (the cops) didn’t even tell us who they were. I still doubt if all of them are police officers or if TDP workers accompanied them. How can they create a ruckus for us having lodged a complaint? Let the police investigate and put facts before the people. If my complaint is wrong, they will dismiss the case,” said Lokeshwar, who previously worked for Apple in the USA.
After the AP police retracted, Lokeshwar was taken to Cyberabad Commissionerate Office, where he met Commissioner VC Sajjanar and requested for protection. “If they can barge into my house and terrorise my family in broad daylight, they can do anything,” he told reporters.
According to senior officials from Cyberabad, a team of AP police personnel went to Madhapur Police Station on Saturday night to investigate a missing person case registered at Guntur district, but when Madhapur police officials informed them that they had already served notices on the persons whom the AP police were searching for, they went back.
“After that, we have no information on their presence in the city. They didn’t even inform us about their plan to detain Lokeshwar, which they should have as part of protocol,” said officials.“They were in my house for around 40 minutes during which time they threatened to kill me and harm my family members. My wife, daughter and son are still in shock,” said Lokeshwar, who has links with the YSRC.
Lokesh lodged the complaint after he received a tip-off and confirmed how classified data was being accessed by the IT firm which promotes the TDP. Advocate P Sudhakar Reddy who works with the YSRC’s Legal Cell alleged that the owners of IT Grid India were clearly working with the AP IT department headed by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s son and Minister Nara Lokesh.
“We have filed cases in several courts and submitted representations to the Elections Commission of India and the State Election Commission regarding the matter. We expected the AP government to react, but not this aggressively,” he said.
Notices served on IT Grid India CEO, 4 employees and service provider
Cyberabad police on Sunday served notices to IT Grid Private Limited CEO Ashok Dakavaram, four employees of the firm and service provider Amazon Web Services in relation to their investigation into the firm’s involvement in theft of data of voters in Andhra Pradesh. IT Grid was employed by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to develop Seva Mitra, for promotional activities. Investigating officials said they are still ascertaining the quantity of data that was accessed by the app and how much of it was misused.
Produce IT Grid India employees today: HC to TS police
A division bench of Telangana High Court on Sunday directed the state police to produce four detainees - Regonda Bhaskar, Phani Kaduluri, Gurudu Chandra Sekhar and Vikram Goud Rebbala, employees of IT Grids India Private Limited - before it on Monday. The bench also asked the police to hand over the case diary to the court. The bench, comprising of Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Shameem Akther, was passing this order in a habeas corpus petition moved by D Ashok, director of IT Grids, seeking directions to the concerned police to produce the said detenues before the court and to order an enquiry into the alleged physical and mental torture of the detainees.