The 21-year-old has reportedly told interrogators that he was preparing for the civil services examinations.

Written by Sushant Kulkarni | Pune |

himachal pradesh elections, Nanded civic polls, pune student sedition charge, pune student arrested, evm tamperingAccording to Shimla police, Rathod repeated the modus operandi for Himachal Pradesh polls. (Representational Image)

THE 21-year-old Maharashtra man arrested for allegedly offering to rig electronic voting machines (EVMs) to make 34 candidates from different parties win in the recent Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections had allegedly made similar offers to 37 candidates in Nanded civic elections, held on October 11, according to Nanded police.

According to officers, their probe has found that the accused, Sachin Dutta Rathod, a resident of Kinwat taluka of Maharashtra’s Nanded district, used a SIM card stolen in Nanded and a phone stolen from Mumbai to make these calls.

Rathod, who graduated in political science from a Pune college in 2016, was arrested by Nanded police in Kinwat. He has now been handed to Shimla police for further probe in his second alleged con attempt .

The 21-year-old has reportedly told interrogators that he was preparing for the civil services examinations.

According to the police, investigation has found that Rathod sent messages to 37 candidates of Nanded-Waghala Municipal Corporation on October 7, posing as an officer from the Election Commission. In the message, he allegedly claimed he would help them win the elections by rigging EVMs. He allegedly sought Rs 10 lakh in return, the police said.

According to Nanded SP Chandrakishor Meena, not one of the 37 corporators who received Rathod’s messages, including the outgoing mayor and deputy mayor, responded. Rathod was booked for cheating and theft and under sections of Information Technology Act.

Inspector Sandeep Gurme of the local crime branch of Nanded police said, “His (the youth’s) interrogation has revealed that he got the idea from newspaper reports and television crime shows.”

According to Shimla police, Rathod repeated the modus operandi for Himachal Pradesh polls. Investigating officer Raghu Tomar said, “Rathod sent messages and made calls to 34 candidates of various parties. None of them responded.”

Himachal Pradesh police have invoked IPC Section 124A (sedition) along with sections dealing with impersonation and cheating. Asked why sedition was invoked, Tomar said, “We will give that answer in court.”http://indianexpress.com/article/india/before-himachal-youth-offered-to-rig-evms-for-nanded-civic-polls-police-4959541/

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