Pegasus row: Modi govt has dismantled national security, PPCC president says | India News

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PUDUCHERRY: Puducherry Pradesh Congress Committee president A V Subramanian on Wednesday slammed the BJP government at the Centre for snooping and spying on the mobile phones of constitutional functionaries, Union cabinet ministers, present and former heads of India’s security forces, senior leaders of opposition parties, journalists, lawyers and activists through Israeli surveillance software Pegasus.
In a statement, Subramanian said the ‘shocking and sensational news reports’ on spying reveal treasonous dismantling of national security by the BJP government. The BJP government had murdered ‘rule of law’, ‘fundamental right to privacy’ and ‘constitutional duties’ in broad daylight, he said.
The Congress leader said the spyware, Pegasus, not only breaches WhatsApp but also turns on the phone’s camera and microphone to capture all activities near the phone besides hacking all the security features of the phone including listening to and sending passwords, contact lists, calendar events, text messages and live voice calls.
“This is clearly treason and total abdication of national security by the government, more so when the foreign company could possibly have access to this data. And the person responsible for it is none less than the Union minister Amit Shah. Of course, it could not be done without the consent and concurrence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is an unforgivable sacrilege and negation of constitutional oath by the Union home minister and the Prime Minister,” Subramanian said.
He said the telephones of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and his staff members were also hacked. The telephone of former chief election commissioner Ashok Lavasa was also selected for illegal surveillance and snooping. Association for Democratic Reforms founder Jagdeep Chhokar and a host of journalists and media organizations were also targeted.
He rued that the Union IT minister continues to mislead the Parliament even after the former IT minister admitted in the Parliament on November 28, 2019, that 121 people from India were on the Pegasus’s infected list and the Union government issued a notice to NSO, which created the Pegasus spyware and sold it only to government agencies.
“Why was Modi government spying on its citizens and political leaders before and in the run-up to 2019 general elections to Parliament as also thereafter? Does this not warrant a full investigation of the role of the Prime Minister, Union home minister and others involved? Should the Union home minister Amit Shah, in charge of internal security of the country, not be sacked forthwith?” questioned Subramanian.
He further questioned who authorized the purchase and use of the illegal spyware. “Who – the Prime Minister or Union home minister – authorized the purchase of illegal spyware Pegasus? How many hundred or thousand crores (of rupees) were spent?” he asked.



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