B’luru Top Cop Seeks Probe into Order Asking Info on J&K Staffers
Nandakumar, the cop who issued the order said he was being ‘proactive’ and the collection was ‘routine’
An order issued by the Sampigehalli police on 5 March asking companies to furnish details of employees from Jammu and Kashmir working in various companies in Manyata Tech Park in northern Bengaluru has come to light. The order comes seven months after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, revoking special status to the state and reconstituting it into three union territories.
According to the order, details have been sought for the purpose of ‘law and order’.
Bengaluru city commissioner Bhaskar Rao has reportedly ordered a probe into the order and said “At any cost, we will not profile any section of society”. The SHO in question BM Nandakumar told The Quint that he was acting out of ‘public interest’ and said that he was collecting information about ‘all communities’.
“It is not about Hindu-Muslim. I am just acting as a proactive law enforcement officer on my own. We have to collect information about all citizens in our area. I am also keeping track of other groups like north-eastern residents, Rohingyas and political groups like ABVP,” he said.
Rao has also reportedly called for the notice to be immediately withdrawn and said that he had asked the concerned DCP to submit a report on the matter.
‘Nothing Negative Behind Actions’
Claiming that there was no ‘negative thoughts’ behind the order issued, Nandakumar said that such information collection was routine.
”It is our duty to protect and collect information to keep people safe. Following the exodus of northeastern students from Bengaluru in 2012, we have to be very careful. We have seen what has happened in the past. I cannot reveal where all we have issued such orders but we are tracking paying guest accommodations also. For instance, there are 3-5 active ABVP leaders in our station limits. We are taking stock of everything.” he said.
According to Embassy Group's website, Manyata Tech Park is the largest tech park in the city and the second biggest in India, spread over 120 acres and housing several companies including offices of IBM, Cognizant, Nokia Solutions, Alcatel-Lucent etc.
While it is not immediately clear what the companies are planning to do and whether they will provide the information asked for, advocates said that there was nothing in the law to support this kind of ‘profiling’.
“There is no legal backing to this profiling. In fact, it is violation of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution that deal with equality before the law and no discrimination on the basis of religion, sex, place of birth etc. Asking people of only one region to furnish details is illegal. No police station tracks migrants either, they have no authority to do. You have the freedom to live and work anywhere,” said Maitreyi Krishan, a criminal lawyer.
She added that only interstate migrants might be tracked by the labour department but that was a different ball game.
The Quint has reached out to the Embassy Group for comment.
(With inputs from The Hindu)
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