Maharashtra minister Pankaja Munde trashes claim that her father was murdered

Mumbai: Maharashtra minister Pankaja Munde Wednesday rubbished the claim made by a self-proclaimed US-based Indian cyber expert that her father and senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde was murdered. Gopinath Munde died in a road accident in New Delhi, weeks after the BJP won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Speaking to reporters, the Maharashtra Minister for Women and Child development said she was not someone who would sensationalise the issue. She said she was neither a hacker nor an investigation agency. “I am a daughter. I request you to think of me as a daughter. Media has been forcing me from the last two days to speak on this issue. However, I do not know what to say,” she said.

“When Munde ji died, I requested (Union Home Minister) Rajnath Singh ji to conduct a CBI probe, which has already happened,” Munde said.

She added that the allegations of EVM hacking have already been trashed by the Election Commission of India (ECI), so there was nothing left for her to speak on the issue. The ‘cyber expert’, identified as Syed Shuja, who is seeking political asylum in the US, had Monday claimed that the 2014 elections were “rigged” through EVMs, which, he says, can be hacked. The ECI had denied the charge.

Addressing a press conference in London via Skype, Shuja said he fled India in 2014 because he felt threatened in the country after the killing of some of his team members.

He also claimed that BJP leader Gopinath Munde was “killed” because he was aware of EVM hacking in the elections.
However, he did not provide any proof to back up his claim.

Shuja also claimed that NIA officer Tanzil Ahmed, who was investigating Gopinath Munde’s death, was planning to file an FIR, noting that the BJP leader had been murdered, but was himself killed. The CBI in October 2014 ruled out any foul play in the death of Gopinath Munde, claiming that the politician had died due to injuries sustained in the road accident.

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters at Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, NCP’s state unit chief Jayant Patil demanded an “international” inquiry into Munde’s death.

“After coming to power, the BJP has taken over the CBI. Therefore, there should be an international level inquiry into the senior BJP leader’s death,” he demanded.

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