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Fake ECI Letter Seeks Effective Report of 'EVM Machine Scam' From Gandhinagar Police

The fake letter, dated April 2, 2018, and typed on a fake letter head of the Election Commission of India, has a fake signature of the Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, ECI.

Meghdoot Sharon | CNN-News18

Updated:May 30, 2018, 2:56 PM IST
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Fake ECI Letter Seeks Effective Report of 'EVM Machine Scam' From Gandhinagar Police
The fake letter from Election Commission of India which was sent to Gandhinagar police in Gujarat.
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Ahmedabad: The Gandhinagar police in Gujarat on Wednesday registered an FIR against unknown persons in the case where a fake letter of the Election Commission of India was received by the police, asking it to conduct discreet inquiry about the misuse of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and to file a confidential report with the ECI.

Attempts are now on to find out who wrote the fake letter and why.

The fake letter, dated April 2, 2018, and typed on a fake letter head of the Election Commission of India, has a fake signature of the Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, ECI.

It reads: “All of you are informed by this letter that due to misuse of the EVM machine, our nation and the country’s democracy are in danger. There is a lot of discussion about the scam of EVM machines among the people of the whole country. If there is a problem in the EVM machine, then under the confidential police inquiry, you should investigate scam of the EVM machine, if there is a possibility of scam from EVM machine, then the next lok sabha election which is to be held in 2019. You should send us effective report of the EVM machine scam within 30 days anyhow, because of which voting on ballot paper should be done. Voting on ballot paper is against trust or not give your reliable opinion also. You have to keep this report completely confidential. Thank You (sic).”

To begin with, the tone and words used in the letter are not the kind that is used in official government correspondence.

The ECI would not normally admit in an official correspondence that the country’s democracy is in danger because of EVMs being misused.

Second, the ECI would not seek an opinion from the police on whether voting on ballot paper is against trust or not.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Gandhinagar SP Virendra Yadav said that a complaint has been registered in the Sector 7 police station and the Special Operations Group has been asked to investigate the case.

“Upon receiving this letter in the first week of April by post, the Gandhinagar police had sent this letter for verification to the State Election Commission and the DGP office. We have received a report from the SEC that this letter is not written by the Election Commission of India and hence we have registered a case.”

Yadav further added that it is still a matter of investigation as to who sent the letter and from where was it sent. The envelope in which the letter arrived at the registry branch of the SP’s office bears a five rupee postage stamp on it, but the sender has not been identified as yet.

Asked whether other district superintendents of police too have received similar letters, Yadav replied, “It is possible that copies must have been sent to other districts as well but we have not received any information yet from other districts.”

When asked why it took close to two months for the police to arrive at a conclusion that the letter was fake and whether the police department did actually carry out a discreet inquiry on the possible misuse of EVMs, the Gandhinagar SP said, “No inquiry has been done by the police. We had sent the letter to the State Election Commission for verification, as ECI does not seek any such report from the police. We had to wait for a reply from the SEC after which we have registered a FIR.”
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