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AP & Telangana spar over 'data breach'

In a case which could turn out to create more bitterness between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, an alleged ‘data breach’ by a company which provides IT services to Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has been reported and taken up by the Telangana Police. 
 
On a petition by an employee of IT Grids which created the TDP’s Seva Mitra mobile app, the Telangana High Court directed the Telangana Police to produce four employees of the company before it on Monday. The petitioner moved a Habeas Corpus petition, seeking direction to the police to produce the employees allegedly picked up during raids conducted on the company’s office, without any FIR.
 
Cyberabad police forcefully seized laptops, hard disks and some other material during the searches conducted at IT Grids office, following a complaint by Lokeshwar Reddy that company officials have stolen the data of about 3.5 crore people of Andhra Pradesh who are the beneficiaries of various government welfare schemes. 
The complainant is said to be a sympathiser of Opposition Party YSR Congress, which has been accusing the TDP government of deleting the names of “anti-TDP” voters from voters’ list in the state. 
 
A police team from Andhra Pradesh also arrived in Hyderabad on Sunday to conduct the investigations. There was mild tension when the team reached Lokeshwar Reddy's residence in Kukatpally. The local police and some YSR Congress leaders resisted the Andhra Police team’s attempts to arrest him.
 
On the other hand, several political leaders have raised doubts on why Telangana Police had to take up the case and interfere in such forceful detention of the company’s employees. In this direction, AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu held a meeting with Advocate General D. Srinivas and other top officials to discuss the legal course of action to be taken due to the situation created by Telangana Police's action against IT Grids. 
 
The Telugu Desam Party leaders allege the case against IT Grids in Hyderabad was a conspiracy by the Telangana government and the YSR Congress to carry out a false propaganda ahead of the elections. They also questioned about why an Andhra MP from YSR Congress, Vijay Sai Reddy, approached the Telangana police to file the case. Meanwhile, they also question about the YSRCP’s intentions as the app was launched two to three years ago but a case is being filed now. 
 
However, the TDP Seva Mitra is for the party cadre which also the official party application to update the TDP members of the schemes, manifesto and other details. On the other hand, a verification of the app on the app store states that the app is only for registered TDP cadre. “It connects the cadre and Party in real-time. This application provides the real time updated to the Cadre. It also connects the cadre with their leader as well,” the app description states.
 
Unfortunately, this episode of the arrest of IT Grids employees points to a growing trend where companies and its innocent employees are becoming pawns of political parties in their dangerous political games for votes. 

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