The Election Commission has termed as “patently false” the allegation that a Hyderabad based technical coordinator, who claimed that electronic voting machines could be tampered with, was arrested at the behest of the EC for allegedly stealing an EVM.
Hari Prasad, technical coordinator of VeTA (Citizens for Verifiability, Transparency and Accountability in Elections), was arrested from Hyderabad on Saturday in connection with the theft of an EMV, Mumbai Police said on Monday.
“The arrest made by the police is in the course of
an investigation conducted
by them on an FIR lodged by DEO Mumbai as early as May 12 about an EVM stolen from her custody. The EC cannot interfere in criminal investigation of the police in any manner and the law of the land takes its own course,” Deputy Election Commissioner Alok Shukla said.
In a letter to Save Indian Democracy, an NGO which has taken up the arrest of Prasad, Shukla said that besides assuring that his suggestions would be considered, EC allowed Prasad to examine EVMs.
The Save Indian Democracy’s aid in a letter to Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi that the arrest of Prasad on charges of stealing EVMs was uncalled for.
It said that the efforts of Prasad was to educate Indian public and the path taken was only to work around the "unrealistic and dishonest" restrictions imposed by the EC in demonstrating the vulnerabilities of the EVMs.
“It will be a matter of shame and travesty of justice for EC instead of appreciating the acts of such heroes, your office stoop to intimating and punishing them,” it said.