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EVM hacking : After India now US election officials worried

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Las Vegas, Aug 12 : Amid the growing debate  in India over whether electronic voting machines (EVMs) are hackable or not , elections officials in the US are worried over the increasing “information warfare” as mid-term polls loom.

At the event, nearly 40 child hackers were able to tamper with vote tallies on the mock versions of election board websites, some even changing candidates names to things like “Bob Da Builder” and “Richard Nixon’s Head”.

According to a CNN report, at the annual “Def Con hacker convention” here over the weekend, state and local election officials who attended the conference saw what hackers can do to voting machines.

“One hacker was essentially able to turn a voting machine into a jukebox, making it play music and display animations,” said the report.

“While such hacks are a cause of concern for election officials, they are increasingly looking beyond the threats against traditional election infrastructure like voting machines and voting databases and more to the threat of disinformation,” it added.

 

“There’s always been a concern about the integrity of our elections and there’s always been a concern about misinformation, disinformation being disseminated around campaigns,” Alex Padilla, California’s Secretary of State, was quoted as saying.

This time, the “voting machine hacking village” at the conference featured a new set of voting machines which will be used in the 2018 mid-term elections.

An intense debate is going on in India over the security of EVMs.As many as 17 parties, including the Congress and the Trinamool Congress, have approached the Election Commission for restoring the paper ballot system in view of their apprehensions over the integrity of the EVMs and the possibility of their manipulation.

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Scores being treated at Al Hind hospital, most have bullet wounds

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anti-CAA violence Al Hind Hospital

New Delhi, Feb 27 : After violent clashes between pro and anti-CAA protesters claimed 38 lives in North-East Delhi in the past three days, around 400 to 600 people, mostly with bullet injuries, have been shifted to a private hospital which is treating them free of cost.

M.A. Anwar of the Al Hind hospital in New Mustafabad area in North-East Delhi told IANS, “About 75 per cent of the patients who arrived here have bullet injuries.” According to Anwar, the others were mostly stabbed or pelted with stones.

“The condition has been disastrous for the last three-four days as we received over 400 injured persons,” the doctor said.

He further said that the staffers and he himself didn’t sleep for the last four days as every hour the number of injured persons being brought for treatment went up.

Anwar said the hospital was providing free treatment to the injured persons.

In one of the deadliest violence in Delhi in decades, at least 37 people have lost their lives while over 200 people have been injured after clashes between pro and anti-CAA protesters turned violent in North-East Delhi.

The clashes first broke out on Sunday. In the three days that followed, hundreds of vehicles, shops and homes were gutted. Questions have been raised over Delhi Police’s efficiency for failing to control the situation.

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Stage set for ‘untouchable’ Delhi Police chief Amulya Patnaik’s grand farewell

It didn’t matter to him whether his men were beaten up by lawyers or the cops entered Jamia Millia Islamia campus and wrecked havoc.

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Amulya Kumar Patnaik Commissioner of Delhi Police

New Delhi, Feb 27 : The stage has been set for an honourable exit for Delhi Police chief Amulya Patnaik, who came under fire for the police incompetence in handling a spate of violent clashes over the last few months.

According to sources, while bodies of riot victims were being fished out from drains and recovered from lanes of northeast Delhi, Patnaik was busy in effecting transfer and posting of his favourite officers. A transfer list of fives officers were released by Patnaik when people were killing each other on the city streets. Another list of lower level officers are expected before his retirement.

Patnaik, who could not gauge the communal situation in northeast Delhi that led to mayhem, has been expecting a post-retirement job from the central government. His closeness with a former Gujarat cadre IAS officer, who is basically from Odisha and is posted at Prime Minister Office (PMO), made him untouchable.

His ties made him invincible in the bureaucratic circle and empowered him to subjugate the Delhi Police officers who flagged loopholes in the city’s law and order, sources said. Many young officers is said to have opted for the central deputation because of his alleged ‘arrogance’, they added.

He created his own coterie of officers and indulged in the blatant game of transfer and posting, sources said and added, many transfers were done allegedly on the behest of his predecessor Alok Verma. Even when Verma was unceremoniously removed from Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Patnaik continued to follow him, they added.

He was about to be shunted out from the force in 2018 when four Intelligence Bureau (IB) officers were humiliated outside Verma’s residence, but he managed to save his skin due to the retired IAS officer’s blessings, according to Home Ministry sources.

His batch-mate Prabhat Singh’s name was proposed by the Home Ministry as Patnaik’s replacement, but the move was was dropped by the PMO at the last minute.

The friendship with Verma and the ex-IAS officer and their bureaucratic circle helped him sail through even when his own force protested against him.

For the first time in the history of any uniformed force in India, the Delhi Police personnel protested against Patnaik and sat on dharna (strike) in 2019. He was hooted by his own men. But with the “blessing” Patnaik became stronger, the police sources said.

It didn’t matter to him whether his men were beaten up by lawyers or the cops entered Jamia Millia Islamia campus and wrecked havoc.

Amid this, he ensured that his batch-mates S.N. Srivastava and Ajay Kashyap were not transferred back to the Delhi Police from their deputation postings, sources said.

A spate of incidents pushed the force’s morale to all-time low, but it was overlooked by Patnaik as well as the government. He ensured his reporting bosses remained happy, for which he was awarded a month’s extension to oversee Delhi Assembly elections.

All this, sources said, made him untouchable. When riots started in Delhi, he was casual and took it as the 2010 peaceful protests during an anti-corruption movement. He didn’t deploy additional forces in riot-hit areas, leading to mob attacks on DCP Amit Sharma and death of Head Constable Ratan Lal death.

All this forced the cops to fend for themselves, instead of containing the riot.

And Patnaik has ensured that he get a grand farewell On February 29.

(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at [email protected])

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I am not the attacker: AAP councillor Tahir Hussain

“The rioters had entered my house after breaking the main door. I was trying to shoo them away using a lathi,” he said, adding that he had even called the police but no one responded to his calls.

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Tahir Hussain

New Delhi, Feb 27 : After coming under scanner of the Delhi Police for his alleged role in the arson in North-East Delhi which has claimed 38 lives so far besides injuring 200 others, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councillor Tahir Hussain claimed on Thursday that he was the “target”, and “not the attacker”.

Speaking to reporters in the national capital, Hussain said, “I was the target and not the attacker. Just tell me one thing, will any rioter allow the police to enter his house if he is involved?”

His remarks came after a number of videos surfaced on social media, showing people allegedly throwing petrol bombs and stones from his rooftop. Following the surfacing of the videos, Delhi Police have sealed Hussain’s house besides registering a case against him.

In one such video, Hussain is seen holding a wooden stick with smoke rising from his building. Admitting that he was seen in the video, he clarified that the video was of February 24.

“The rioters had entered my house after breaking the main door. I was trying to shoo them away using a lathi,” he said, adding that he had even called the police but no one responded to his calls.

Hussain further said that the police came to his house at 9 p.m. on Sunday. “Joint Commissioner Alok Kumar and DCP A.K. Singla came here. They searched my house in the presence of my neighbours, following which I left along with my family,” he said, adding that when he returned on Tuesday morning, he found the situation has worsened. So he left again after speaking to the police.

Earlier in the day, IANS reached the roof of Hussain’s house where stones and bottles, which appeared to be meant for petrol bombs, were found.

Even the father of slain Intelligence Bureau (IB) staffer Ankit Sharma has alleged that Hussain was behind the killing of his son by a mob on Tuesday.

Hussain further said that the rioters barged into his house and he was only trying to protect it from them.

In a 41-second video clip posted on social media, Hussain could be seen making an appeal in what appears to be the middle of the rioting.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, while responding to allegations that the AAP leader was involved in the killing of Ankit Sharma, said: “No one, be it any party, should be spared if they are responsible for inciting violence. Even if he is a part of my Cabinet, he should be punished. If anyone from AAP is found guilty, they should get double the punishment.”

In one of the deadliest violence in Delhi in decades, at least 38 people have lost their lives while over 200 people have been injured after clashes between pro and anti-CAA protesters turned violent in North-East Delhi.

The clashes first broke out on Sunday. In the three days that followed, hundreds of vehicles, shops and homes were gutted. Questions have been raised over Delhi Police’s efficiency for failing to control the situation.

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