The sister of Gauri Lankesh has refuted a self-proclaimed cyber-expert’s claims that the journalist was murdered because she knew about the alleged hacking of electronic voting machines ahead of the 2014 General Elections and had agreed to write an article on it, PTI reported on Wednesday.
“I am aware of it and I think it is completely false,” said Kavitha Lankesh. “I don’t know why it was said like this. I don’t believe my sister was targeted for that at all.”
Gauri Lankesh was shot dead on the evening of September 5, 2017, outside her house in Bengaluru. So far, 16 people have been arrested in connection with the murder, and the Special Investigation Team has filed a 9,235-page chargesheet against 18 people.
United States-based “cyber expert” Syed Shuja had on Monday claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party had rigged the 2014 elections by “hacking” electronic voting machines. Shuja claimed he had approached Gauri Lankesh after a “famous” journalist, who “shouts every night” during television debates, had refused to run the story.
“The murder was a political conspiracy, but I don’t believe in this kind of twist,” said Kavitha Lankesh. “So far, the investigation is going in the right direction.”
Kavitha Lankesh said she believed there were political motives behind Shuja’s claims. “It’s fake news,” she said. “I don’t need to go into it.”
Shuja claimed that BJP leader Gopinath Munde had also been murdered to cover up the alleged manipulations. Munde had died in a car accident in 2014 just weeks after the BJP came to power.
The Election Commission has refuted the allegations of EVM tampering. A day after the event, the poll panel asked the Delhi Police to file a First Information Report against Shuja. The Bharatiya Janata Party has accused the Congress of organising the event, claiming it was an attempt by the opposition party to “defame the popular mandate of 2014”.