Ample evidence to prove forgery and use of forged election ID cards in YC internal poll, say police

Ample evidence to prove forgery and use of forged election ID cards in YC internal poll, say police

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 22 (PTI) Police have substantiated the claims of forgery of election ID cards, presenting 'compelling evidence' of their illegal use in the recent internal election of the Youth Congress (YC) in Kerala, a senior police officer said here on Wednesday.

Talking to PTI, Thiruvananthapuram City Police Commissioner Nagaraju Chakilam said the investigation would now extend to unveil the suspected conspiracy behind this electoral crime.

As part of this widening probe, Rahul Mamkootathil, the recently elected president of the state Youth Congress, will be summoned for questioning, the officer said.

The city police Commissioner said the investigation was launched based on multiple complaints, including those from the State Election Office, and emphasised that substantial evidence has been collected, leading to the arrest of four persons linked to the alleged fraud.

'We have registered a case at the Museum police station in the city for forgery under the IT Act. The allegation was that the election ID cards had been forged by using certain apps and Photoshop methods for use in the (organisational) election of a certain political party. We have arrested four persons in this case,' Nagaraju said.

He said the police seized certain mobile phones and laptops in which the forged ID cards were stored, as well as a laptop used for forging the election ID cards.

'We have very good evidence that such government ID cards have been forged, which is an offence, which is a cognizable offence. So, we have evidence that these people are involved in not only forging these documents but also using the forged documents, both are separate offences,' Nagaraju said.

He said the city police have made certain requests to certain agencies, and once they get the details, more progress will be made in the case.

The City Commissioner of Police said that though the extent of the creation and use of such forged ID cards is not known now, the police expect it to be in large numbers.

'We are looking at who has done this forgery and used such cards. Definitely, a small group of people have helped a large number of people vote here,' Nagaraju said.

The senior police officer said the allegations of forgery have been proved and only the conspiracy part is now under investigation.

He said the newly elected state president of the Youth Congress, Rahul Manmkootathil, will be summoned for interrogation in this case.

The museum police picked up four youths in connection with this case on Tuesday and recorded their arrest on Wednesday.

Rahul Mamkootathil said the case was politically motivated, and the party will face it legally.

'We are fighting two governments, one at the Centre and the state government. Both have their own agencies. This case is politically motivated, and we will face it legally,' he told PTI.

The Youth Congress leader said he had not received any formal notice from the police to appear before them for interrogation and learnt it only through the media.

Talking to PTI in Kozhikode, senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said that the party cannot take responsibility for the alleged wrongdoings of some Youth Congress workers and if they have committed the crime, they will have to face the consequences.

The Chief Electoral Officer of Kerala had on Friday directed the state police to investigate complaints of alleged use of fake voter ID cards during the Youth Congress organisational polls.

Chief Electoral Officer Sanjay M Kaul had forwarded the complaints his office received to the state police chief, urging appropriate action against the culprits allegedly involved in the fraud.

The allegations cropped up two days after the Youth Congress announced the results of its internal organisational poll.

Youth Congress leader Mankoottathil was elected president of the state organisation in the polls held a few weeks ago.

The CPI(M) and the BJP in Kerala criticised the Congress over the issue. PTI KPK TGB SS

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