The Delhi Police on Tuesday registered an FIR on a complaint from the Election Commission (EC) against Syed Shuja, the US-based “cyber expert” who on Monday claimed that electronic voting machines (EVMs) used in 2014 Lok Sabha polls had been tampered to rig the outcome.
The BJP had won 282 out of 543 Lok Sabha seats in 2014.
The FIR was filed under IPC Section 505 (whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report). “We have registered an FIR and further investigation will be conducted as per law,” Delhi Police’s Additional PRO Anil Mittal said.
On Monday, addressing a press conference in London from the US via Skype, Shuja made sensational claims but offered no evidence to back them. He claimed to have worked with the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), one of the public sector units manufacturing EVMs in the country, from 2009 to 2014.
In a statement on Tuesday, ECIL denied that Shuja has ever been on its rolls. The company said he had never been associated with the design and development of EVMs in ECIL between 2009 and 2014.
Shuja had also alleged that the BJP hacked EVMs, in the run-up to the 2014 elections, using a modulator that transmitted a “military-grade frequency”. When he and his team discovered this and sought and got a meeting with the BJP on May 13, 2014, they were shot at, he claimed.
According to Shuja, while he escaped, the authorities covered up the killings by passing off 11 of his dead team members as victims of a communal riot in Kishanbaug, Hyderabad, on May 14, 2014.
The EC today said, “There is no mechanism in ECI-EVMs to communicate with any device through wireless communication on any radio frequency. All versions of ECI-EVMs are regularly and rigorously tested against low to high wireless frequencies.”
Reacting to Shuja’s allegation that the shooting of May 2014 took place in a guesthouse owned by his relative, former BJP MLA Kishan Reddy told The Indian Express, “My name has been unnecessarily dragged in. I am not aware of the place or incident mentioned by someone spreading malicious rumours.”
Officials of Cyberabad Police denied there were any deaths in Kishanbaug riots apart from three people killed in police firing on May 14, 2014.
The Foreign Press Association, which along with Indian Journalists’ Association had organised Shuja’s press conference in London on Monday, has since “disassociated” itself from the event. “In hindsight, we can say Ahmed (Shuja) disappointed. But that does not mean we should not have listened to him,” Ashis Ray, president of IJA-Europe, said.