Bengaluru: Fake officials gather voters' personal info pretending BLOstext_fields
Bengaluru: A group of people claimed to be booth lever officers allegedly approached the residents of Shivajinagar in Bengaluru and gathered Aadhaar, voter ID, address etc., convincing locals that they were updating the voter's list, The News Minute reported.
Many residents of Shivajinagar complained that the "officers" said their names were going to be removed from the voters' list.
TNM writes that the occurrence came to light when the new house was conducting an investigation into a severe privacy breach in the city in which a private NGO secretly collected personal information from thousands of voters. The TNM report states that after the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the city's governing body employed an NGO named Chilume for the revision of voter rolls as well as to "create awareness" on voter rights. But the NGO allegedly gave sub-contracts with other agencies to gather voters' personal info. Voters were also asked about their opinions on elected representatives' performances, it added.
While the formal voter verification process began on November 9, residents of the area said that the said unknown people visited them in October.
Geetha V, an Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) worker, is a booth-level officer in the area, and she is a single-point on-ground verification official for the Election Commission. It was Geetha who would be carrying out voter registration, field verification, correcting identity cards, distributing voter slips and voter education in the area.
She confirmed the claims that people came to the area and met residents to gather information. She added that when she cross-checked with lists, she found that at least 20 people were marked for deletion, but she was sure that they were still living in that constituency.
Opposition parties alleged that the covert survey was to back a complaint filed with the Election Commission on October 11 that there were issues in the electoral roll of the Shivajinagar Assembly Constituency. One of the five who filed the complaint, Girish N, a BJP worker, told TNM that they carried out their own survey and found out that 26,000 voters in the Shivajinagar constituency were fake and the majority were Muslim community.
Congress alleged that the drive was to ensure that certain groups of voters were eliminated from the electoral list.
However, the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) in the area denied the claims of a covert verification exercise. "So far, we have not received any such complaints, and the formal voter verification process is only beginning this week," TNM quoted ERO Suhail Ahmed.