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Ransomware cyber attack: Remove Sam Pitroda as technical advisor, says BJP

BJP says when his whereabouts are not known then what is the need of having him in the post

Nirmalya Behera  |  Bhubaneswar 

Sam Pitroda
Sam Pitroda

The Odisha unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday demanded immediate removal of as technical advisor to the state government.

The party questioned his absence at a time when some institutions in the state have come under of

"When cyber attacks are taking place in Odisha and whereabouts of the IT advisor is not known then what is the need of having him in the post", Sajjan Sharma, spokesperson of state unit said.

"State government should refrain from appointing non-resident Indians (NRIs) as advisors and Chief minister must remove him," Sharma added.

In January 2016, Pitroda was appointed technology advisor and was given the rank of a Cabinet minister. This is not for the first time there is a clamour for removal of Pitroda. 

Earlier, alleged that Chief Minister had given Pitroda a Cabinet minister rank because of some understanding between Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Congres and thereafter, claimed his involvement in the Herald case.

Meanwhile, a three-member team of cyber cell of the state crime branch has started a probe into WannaCry at Berhampur city hospital.

Computers at Berhampur City hospital and Purusottampur Community Health Centre (CHC) were hacked by WannaCry virus on Wednesday. The hackers demanded $300 to decrypt the encrypted data.

Officials in the state government said, apart from these two cases, there are no fresh cases of malware attack.

"We have sought the reports from district administrations and there are no new cases of attack. We are waiting for their reports", said a government official.

Odisha government on Wednesday directed the collectors of all the 30 districts to make an assessment of computer systems. They were also asked to evaluate computer systems, status of anti-virus programme, operating softwares, and other cyber security measures.