Pune engineer held, cops say gave EVM to researcher

A Pune-based engineer has been held for procuring and delivering the EVM whose "theft" had earlier led to the arrest of researcher Hari Prasad. Mukund Lagoo, 48, is accused of handing over the voting machine to Prasad in Hyderabad.

The Mumbai police aren't clear, however, about how Lagoo, a civil engineer and activist, got the EVM from the Collector's office.

"Lagoo procured the machine and carried it along to Hyderabad. Prasad, the main accused, received the machine from Lagoo," reads the remand application seeking his custody.

"In the initial investigation, we found he had contacted Hari Prasad on the phone and then met him. Later, Lagoo transported the machine from Mumbai to Hyderabad. We are yet to find out if he is the person who stole the machine from the Collector's office," a police official said.

Summoned to Mumbai, Lagoo was arrested after being interrogated for two days. "I am being questioned because I made phone calls to Hari Prasad," Lagoo told The Indian Express.

His lawyer Niranjan Mundergi said neither his lawyers nor relatives were informed of the possible arrest.

Lagoo has been working with various organisations for 15 years for the welfare of Maharashtra's denotified tribes.

Apart from arresting Prasad and Lagoo, the police have questioned over 25 people, including a Congress leader from Nashik. Also, two officials working with the Collector's office have been suspended.

Prasad, arrested on August 21, has since been released on bail. He has said he used the EVM for research and then returned it to "the official" who had given it to him.

Prasad had worked with two foreign researchers to show that EVM machines are vulnerable to tampering.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.