"Through media reports, it has come to the notice of the Commission that allegedly one Mr Syed Shuja, on January 21 in London. claimed that he was part of the EVM design team and he can hack the EVM used in elections in India". He said he was part of a team that had designed the machines used in the 2014 election.
Ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections, a US-based self-claimed cyber expert Syed Shuja said the 2014 Lok Sabha elections were "rigged" and even claimed that BJP leader Gopinath Munde was "killed" as he knew about the "hacking" of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), a claim debunked by the Election Commission of India.
Shuja said a riot was engineered in the Kishanbagh area of Hyderabad and his dead colleagues were passed off as riot victims.
The ECI stressed it ensures that "all stakeholders participate in the process without any intimidation and influences" and that the elections are conducted in a "free, fair, transparent, ethical and credible manner".
On the EVMs, it said, "These EVMs are manufactured in Bharat Electronics Ltd. & Electronics Corporation of India Ltd. under very strict supervisory and security conditions".
Shuja also claimed the NIA officer investigating Munde's death, Tanzil Ahmed, was planning to file an FIR noting he had been murdered but was himself killed. Syed Shuja had claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party had rigged the 2014 elections by hacking the voting machines.More news: Cousins attempted to debut a few weeks ago
The hacker had claimed that while it was not possible to hack individual EVMs, since they contain a pre-bluetooth era old-fashioned chip, it was possible to tweak them with the help of algorithms. The system of voting in India has long abandoned ballot boxes and switched to Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), which have done away with physical counting of votes and are deemed to be efficient, time-saving and infallible.
He claimed his team had successfully prevented the rigging of the 2015 Delhi Assembly polls and last year's elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Shuja also alleged that other than the BJP, the SP, BSP, AAP and Congress too are involved in rigging of the EVMs. The transmitters were used in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The 1982 Kerala election was meant to be an experiment, and the Congress candidate at the time, A.C. Jose, moved the Supreme Court to challenge the use of EVMs after he lost the election to Sivan Pillai of the Communist Party of India. If the charges are wrong, take action against him. "ECI has been wary of becoming a party to this motivated slugfest and stands by empirical facts about the foolproof nature of ECI EVMs", the Election Commission said.
Shuja claimed: "The AAP had wanted us to hack the EVM to show the world that EVMs can be hacked".
Says Shekhar Gupta, condemning the irresponsible press meet, "This EVM presser isn't just underwhelming, it is insulting to anybody not smoking illegal stuff".