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Theft of data from Bengaluru voters: 3 people, including the director and HR of the NGO Chilume, arrested

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Bengaluru Police have arrested three people, including one of the founder-directors of the NGO Chilume Educational Cultural and Rural Development Trust, as part of their investigation into allegations of election data theft in the city.

Police identified the arrested person as Dharanesh, the trust’s human resources (HR) manager; Renuka Prasad, one of the directors; and Kempegowda, the brother of Ravi Kumar, one of the founder-directors who remains untraceable.

Police sources said on Sunday they also arrested a software developer, who allegedly created the “Digital Sameeksha” app, in which voter data was allegedly collected.

Police arrested Dharanesh and Prasad on Saturday and brought them before a magistrate’s court which held them in custody for eight days.

Police, who raided the offices of Chilume Trust, said they seized numerous documents and unlocked the “Digital Sameeksha” app.

Earlier, the Opposition Congress in Karnataka alleged that NGOs such as Chilume Educational Cultural and Rural Development Trust and DAP Hombale Private Limited collected key voter information. He also alleged that key voter information was uploaded to the ‘Digital Sameeksha’ app, run by one of the NGOs.

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Special Commissioner (Administration and Elections) S Rangappa filed a complaint at Halasuru Gate Police Station on Thursday. A case was registered under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 419 (deception by impersonation), 420 (deception) and 468 (tampering) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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