New Delhi: A day after refuting a self-proclaimed Indian cyber expert’s claim that the BJP had won the 2014 Lok Sabha polls by hacking into Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), the Election Commission on Tuesday filed a complaint against the former. Also Read - Bengal May Witness 7-8 Phase Election, Full Poll Schedule Likely to be Announced in First Week of Feb
The election watchdog wrote to Delhi Police requesting it to lodge an FIR and investigate the statement made by the cyber expert, identified as Syed Shuja, on Monday at a press conference in London. Also Read - MEA Gives Assent to Election Commission's Proposal Extending Postal Ballot Facility to Indians Abroad
In its letter, the EC said Syed Shuja has allegedly violated section 505 (1) of the IPC pertaining to spreading rumours which creates panic. Also Read - West Bengal BJP Writes to EC, Urges For Early Deployment of Central Forces Ahead of 2021 Assembly Polls
“Through media reports, it has come to the notice of the commission that allegedly one Mr Syed Shuja claimed (at the event in London) that he was part of the EVM design team and he can hack the EVMs used in elections in India,” the Election Commission wrote in its complaint.
Syed Shuja, the Indian cyber expert who is seeking political asylum in the US, claimed on Monday that the 2014 general election was “rigged” through EVMs, which, he said, can be hacked.
Shuja also said he fled India in 2014 because he felt threatened in the country after the killing of some of his team members.
Refuting the claims made by him, the Election Commission had yesterday said that it firmly stands by “empirical facts about foolproof nature”.
The Commission reiterated that the EVMs used by it are manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) under “very strict” supervisory and security conditions.
It said there are rigorous standard operating procedures “meticulously observed” at all stages under the supervision of a committee of eminent technical experts constituted in 2010.
The BJP dubbed the allegations made at the London press conference a “Congress-sponsored conspiracy” designed to “defame” Indian democracy and its Election Commission.
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters that the Indian Journalists’ Association, which had organised the conference, is headed by Ashis Ray who, he claimed, is a “committed Congressman” and has been singing paeans in support of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
He contributes to National Herald, a Congress mouthpiece, “campaigns” for the Congress on social media and has often attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Prasad claimed, adding that he had also organised Gandhi’s public event in London.
Targeting the Congress, Prasad questioned the presence of its leader Kapil Sibal at the event.
“What was Sibal doing there? In what capacity was he present? My charge is that he was there to monitor the event for the Congress. It was a Congress-sponsored conspiracy designed to defame Indian democracy and its Election Commission,” Prasad said, also calling it a Congress-scripted exercise.
The BJP leader also dismissed Sibal’s claim that he was present in his personal capacity, saying he was intelligent enough to know implications of his being there. He claimed that Sibal went there by deliberate design.
He said the invite for the event had claimed that the hacking of EVMs will be shown but the “gentleman” appeared in the US wearing a mask.
Ridiculing the London event as a circus and political stunt, the BJP leader said he had never heard of Syed Shuja, who claimed to be a cyber expert and made the outlandish and explosive allegations at the press conference, even though he, as Union IT minister, keeps in touch with experts and developments in the field.