Telangana SIT takes U-turn on Punjab Aadhaar data findings

Denies having stumbled upon any UIDAI info from state

Naveen S Garewal

Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, April 21

Telangana SIT chief M Stephen Raveendra has denied in a statement that investigation by his team had stumbled upon any Aadhaar data from Punjab. Issued late last night, the statement is a U-turn by the SIT that had in the past said it had come across data of around 2 crore Aadhaar numbers from Punjab.

Referring to various media reports, the SIT said reports with regard to large amount of data from Punjab found on the hard disks of IT Grid (India) was erroneous and that the matter was still being investigated.

In a four-line press statement issued in response to reports published in most local and national media based on an SIT input earlier, the report has been described as “unfounded”. It is, however, believed that the SIT has backtracked on its earlier stand, as the data received is already available on public domain and does not amount to data breach.

Sources in the state police said this might have been a typical case of some overzealous official trying to cash in on the finding without verifying if this amounted to any violation of the Aadhaar Act. The UIDAI had clarified that its data servers were not breached, but it filed a complaint with the police to ascertain if the find on the Punjab data violated the Aadhaar Act in any manner.

It is, however, being speculated in the political circles if the initial talk about Punjab data from Hyderabad was “an act in haste to attract appreciation” or was it a “genuine oversight”. The SIT is on record as having said that some data from Punjab has been recovered and the matter was being investigated. Greater credence is being attributed to the theory that the data recovered may actually be already available in public domain and not from the UIDAI servers.

Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya today demanded that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government should form a special cell for investigation into the alleged rise in terror activities in the state. This follows the search by the NIA at three places in the state in connection with a 2016 ISIS module case.

Former Union Minister and Secundrabad MP said “Hyderabad is a safe haven for Islamic terrorist activities”.

Report erroneous: Sit  

  • Referring to various media reports, the SIT said reports with regard to large amount of data from Punjab found on the hard disks of IT Grid (India) was erroneous and that the matter was still being investigated.
  • In a press statement issued in response to reports published in most local and national media based on an SIT input earlier, the report has been described as "unfounded". 
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