Arrest of Whistle blower – OFBJP-USA condemns GOI’s heinous act

published on August 24, 2010

OFBJP-USA strongly condemns the arrest of Shri Hari Prasad, who has been leading the practical demonstrations on how India’s Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are prone to tampering. Shri Hari Prasad, chief of India based R&D firm Netindia Ltd, is a part of a team of computer security researchers that includes Prof. Alex Halderman from University of Michigan from USA, and Rop Gonggrijp an expert from Netherlands, who have been spearheading the campaign to discontinue the usage of EVMs for elections by demonstrating how these machines in India, like those in the US and elsewhere, are flawed, and can be hacked or tampered with to alter the election results.

In 2009, the Election Commission of India (ECI) publicly challenged Hari Prasad to show that India’s voting machines could be compromised. But incredibly, they did not give him access to a machine to prove this. Prasad’s team managed to acquire an EVM from a source in Maharashtra earlier this year, and soon proceeded to expose the security flaws in EVM. Many leading opposition political leaders including Shri L.K.Advani, Shri Chandrababu Naidu, Shri Prakash Karat, Ms Jayalaitha, Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav, Shri Bal Thackery, and others observed to their horror that EVMs could be tampered with. Since then Shri Hari Prasad has been constantly harassed and hounded by the shenanigans of Indian Government and Election Commission of India (ECI).

However, on August 21, Shri Hari Prasad was hastily arrested by Hyderabad sleuths and moved to Mumbai on the unsubstantiated and atrocious charge that the EVM he used for demonstrating its vulnerabilities was “stolen” whereas the facts reveal that it was provided by a Maharashtra official for research purposes. Dr. Adapa Prasad, President of OFBJP said that this is a deliberate attempt on part of the Government and ECI to suppress the voice of whistleblowers who are exposing the flawed EVMs due to which the 2009 general election results might have been decided fraudulently in favor of a certain party.

Shri Jayesh Patel, OFBJP President Elect said that this act of arresting a genuine researcher is reminiscent of Emergency days during which people were arrested on false charges. Shri Chandrakant Patel, OFBJP Organizing Secretary denounced the shameful arrest of Hari Prasad who stood for strengthening the democracy in India. OFBJP asks the government of India and ECI, if they have something to hide vis a vis 2009 general election results. Was the 2009 general election stolen and they are scared of its exposure?

Indian American community in USA is shocked at this heinous act on part of the Indian Government and ECI and demands immediate release of Shri Hari Prasad and quickly adopts the ballot papers to provide transparency, and traceability to restore faith in the much acclaimed India’s electoral process and democracy.

Released by: OFBJP-USA, Public Relations and Media Committee.

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