first_imgSamajwadi Party (SP) national president Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday once again raised questions on the credibility of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). His latest quip, however, was not provoked by any election result but curiously on the theft of petrol from filling stations.“If remote-controlled electronic chips can be used to steal petrol without any internet connection, then EVMs can also be [tampered with],” Mr. Yadav tweeted. “The misuse of technology must stop,” he said.The former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh was reacting after the State police Special Task Force (STF) exposed a racket in which electronic chips were being installed in dispensing machines at petrol pumps to reduce output and gain illegal profits by duping customers. In a joint operation with district officials, the U.P. STF on Friday arrested 23 persons, including 13 petrol pump owners and managers and one technician, in connection with the case. The police also recovered 15 electronic chips and 29 remote controllers after its teams raided seven petrol pumps in the State capital. According to police, the owners and managers of the petrol stations would get electronic chips fitted into the dispensing machines under the garb of getting them repaired. “The owner or dealer would generate a log of machine fault and then get the external chip installed through an electrician. This way, they would also get the seal of the weights and measurement department broken. The owner would control the chip through a remote control, switching it off whenever he suspected a police raid,” a police spokesperson said.The chips were pre-calibrated for 5% to 10% deduction in the dispensed amount, said officials, which means that though the petrol metre showed the correct figure, the customer would end up getting 5% to 10% less petrol.STF Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Amit Pathak said that due to the electronic chips an average petrol pump was earning around ₹6 lakh as illegal profit per month, while the larger stations were earning as much as ₹12 lakh.U.P. Director General of Police (DGP) Sulkhan Singh has ordered the constitution of a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to probe cases of petrol pilferage.Mr. Singh has also issued an advisory to all district magistrates to constitute a team to check the tampering of petrol pumps by organised gangs installing chips.Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas congratulated the U.P. STF for “unearthing the racket”. “The Petroleum Ministry & OMCs [oil manufacturing companies] will take strict action against those found guilty of short delivery & tampering with the dispensing units,” Mr. Pradhan tweeted.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *