New Delhi: 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 Monday.
According to the police, the EVM was stolen from godown
number 21 in Old Customs House in South Mumbai in April,
following which a police complaint was registered by an
official from the Collector`s office.
"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 said 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.