Updated on: Friday, July 23, 2021, 02:49 PM IST

Pegasus Project: As the issue rocks Parliament, here's a full list of people who are suspected to be potential targets of the spyware


A number of prominent Indian politicians, including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, journalists, activists and government critics are suspected to be potential targets of the Israeli spyware Pegasus.

Now industrialist Anil Ambani and former CBI chief, Alok Verma, have also joined the list of potential targets on the spyware’s list.

On Sunday, an international media consortium reported that over 300 verified mobile phone numbers, which includes two ministers, over 40 journalists, three opposition leaders and one sitting judge besides scores of businesspersons and activists in India, could have been targeted for hacking through the spyware.

The reports have been published by The Wire in collaboration with 16 international publications including the Washington Post, The Guardian and Le Monde, as media partners to an investigation conducted by Paris-based media non-profit organization, Forbidden Stories, and rights group Amnesty International.

The investigation focuses on a leaked list of more than 50,000 phone numbers from across the world that are believed to have been the target of surveillance through Pegasus software of Israeli surveillance company NSO Group.

The Wire has now released a full list of 136 names who are suspected to be potential targets of Pegasus.

Here is the full list:

Political leaders and aides:

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

Poll strategist Prashant Kishor.

Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee. He is the nephew of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Union cabinet minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

Union cabinet minister Prahlad Singh Patel

Former Deputy chief minister of Karnataka G. Parameshwara

Alankar Sawai. According to The Wire he is a close aide of Rahul Gandhi.

Sachin Rao. A member of the Congress Working Committee and aide of Rahul Gandhi, reported The Wire.

Former head of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad Pravin Togadia

Pradeep Awasthi. He is the Personal secretary to former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia, reported The Wire.

Sanjay Kachroo. He was chosen by then human resource development minister Smriti Irani as her officer on special duty in 2014, reported The Wire.

Satish. According to The Wire, he is the Personal secretary to H.D. Kumaraswamy.

Venkatesh, Personal secretary to Siddaramaiah, as per the report.

Manjunath Muddegowda, Security personnel of former prime minister and JD(S) president H.D. Devegowda.

World leaders:

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

French President Emmanuel Macron

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

Egypt Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly

Saad-Eddine El Othmani, the Prime Minister of Morocco.

Barham Salih, the President of Iraq.

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI

Former Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri

Former Prime Minister of Uganda Ruhakana Rugunda

Former Prime Minister of Algeria Noureddine Bedoui

Former Prime Minister of Belgium Charles Michel:

Former Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Panah Huseynov

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon

Individuals linked to Dubai ruler

Constitutional authority:

Ashok Lavasa, a former Election Commissioner


M.K. Venu. He is one of the founding editor of The Wire.

Sushant Singh, a former Indian Express journalist.

Siddharth Varadarajan. He is the founding editor of The Wire.

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta. He is an independent journalist, author, publisher, documentary film-maker and teacher with 44 years of work experience.

S.N.M. Abdi, a former Outlook journalist.

Vijaita Singh, a journalist who works with the leading news daily The Hindu.

Smita Sharma. She was TV18 anchor.

Shishir Gupta. He is the Executive Editor at Hindustan Times

Rohini Singh, a Freelance journalist.

Devirupa Mitra, The Wire‘s diplomatic editor.

Prashant Jha. He is the views editor of the Hindustan Times.

Prem Shankar Jha. He is a veteran journalist who held editorial positions at Hindustan Times, the Times of India, and several other newspapers.

Swati Chaturvedi. She is a Freelance journalist.

Rahul Singh. He works as a Defence correspondent for Hindustan Times.

Aurangzeb Naqshbandi. He is a political reporter who formerly worked for Hindustan Times.

Ritika Chopra, a journalist with the Indian Express.

Muzamil Jaleel, another Indian Express journalist who covers Kashmir.

Sandeep Unnithan, an India Today journalist.

Manoj Gupta, Editor of investigations and security affairs at TV18.

J. Gopikrishnan, an investigative reporter with The Pioneer.

Saikat Datta, Formerly a national security reporter.

Ifthikar Gilani. He is a Former DNA reporter.

Manoranjan Gupta, Northeast-based editor in chief of Frontier TV.

Sanjay Shyam, a Bihar-based journalist.

Jaspal Singh Heran, the editor-in-chief of the Ludhiana-based Punjabi daily Rozana Pehredar.

Roopesh Kumar Singh, a freelance journalist.

Deepak Gidwani, former correspondent of DNA.

Activists and lawyers:

Hany Babu. Professor at Delhi University who is accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

Rona Wilson. An activist who is another accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

Vernon Gonsalves. An activist and also accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

Anand Teltumbde: An academic and activist who is accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

Shoma Sen. Retired professor and accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

Gautam Navlakha. A journalist and activist who is accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

Arun Ferreira. A lawyer who is also accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

Sudha Bhardwaj. Activist, lawyer and also accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

Pavana. She is the daughter of Telugu poet Varavara Rao, who is accused in the Elgar Parishad case, reported The Wire.

Minal Gadling, wife of lawyer Surendra Gadling.

Nihalsing Rathod. A lawyer and associate of Surendra Gadling.

Jagadish Meshram. A lawyer who is associated with Surendra Gadling.

Maruti Kurwatkar. According to The Wire, he is an accused in several cases under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Shalini Gera. A lawyer who has represented Sudha Bharadwaj.

Ankit Grewal. He is considered to be a close legal associate of Sudha Bharadwaj.

Jaison Cooper, a Kerala-based activist.

Rupali Jadhav. She is a member of Kabir Kala Manch.

Lalsu Nagoti, a lawyer and close associate of Elgar Parishad case accused Mahesh Raut.

Soni Sori, a Tribal rights activist.

Lingaram Kodopi, a journalist.

Degree Prasad Chouhan. An anti-caste activist who is the Chhattisgarh state president of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties.

Rakesh Ranjan. He is an assistant professor at the Sri Ram College of Commerce.

Ashok Bharti. He is the chairman of the All India Ambedkar Mahasabha.

Umar Khalid, a Former student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

Anirban Bhattacharya, a former JNU student.

Banjyotsna Lahiri, a JNU student.

Bela Bhatia, a lawyer and human rights activist.

Shiv Gopal Mishra, a railway union leader.

Anjani Kumar. She is a Delhi-based labour rights activist.

Alok Shukla. He is an anti-coal mining activist.

Saroj Giri, a Delhi University professor.

Shubhranshu Choudhary. He is a peace activist.

Sandeep Kumar Rai, a former BBC journalist and trade union activist.

Khalid Khan, he a colleague of Sandeep Kumar Rai, reported The Wire.

Jharkhand-based activist Ipsa Shatakshi.

Delhi University professor S.A.R. Geelani. He was convicted and later acquitted in the parliament bombing case, reported The Wire.

G. Haragopal, a retired professor from the University of Hyderabad.

Vasantha Kumari. She is the wife of former Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba.

Rakesh Ranjan, an assistant professor at Delhi University.

Jagdeep Chhokar. He is Co-founder of the watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms.

All Assam Students Union (AASU) chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharjee

United Liberation Front of Assam leader Anup Chetia

Delhi-based writer Malem Ningthouja.

Nagaland leaders

National Socialist Council of Nagalim leader Atem Vashum

NSCN (I-M) leader Apam Muivah

Anthony Shimray, commander in chief of the Naga Army of NSCN (I-M)

Phunthing Shimrang. The former commander in chief of the NSCN (I-M)’s Naga Army.

Kitovi Zhimomi, Convenor of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs).

Scientists or those involved in the health sector

Virologists Gagandeep Kang

Hari Menon, Indian head of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

People linked to Dubai ruler:

Sheikha Latifa. She is a member of the Dubai royal family and the daughter of UAE’s prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.

Haya bint Hussein, estranged wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.

CBI officers and people linked to them

Alok Verma, Former chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

Rakesh Asthana, senior CBI officer

A.K. Sharma, senior CBI official

Anil Ambani, Reliance ADAG chairman.

Tony Jesudasan, Corporate communications chief at ADAG.

Venkata Rao Posina, Dassault Aviation’s representative in India.

Inderjit Sial, Former Saab India head.

Boeing India Boss Pratyush Kumar

Business personalities:

Harmanjit Nagi, head of the French energy firm EDF.

Tibetan officials, activists, clerics in India

Tempa Tsering

Tempa Tsering, Dalai Lama’s long-term envoy in New Delhi.

Tenzin Taklha, Dalai Lama’s private secretary

Chimmey Rigzen, Dalai Lama’s senior aide

Lobsang Sangay, the Former head of the Tibetan government in exile.

People linked to Jamal Khashoggi

Hatice Cengiz. She is a doctorate student who was engaged to Jamal Khashoggi.

Hanan Elatr. She was married to Khashoggi.

Hanan Elatr. She was married to Khashoggi.

Wadah Khanfar. He was director general of Al Jazeera television network.

Turan Kislakci, a Turkish journalist who introduced Khashoggi to Cengiz.

Irfan Fidan, the Turkish chief prosecutor in charge of investigations into Khashoggi’s murder.


According to The Wire, a former Supreme Court staffer is also a target of the Israeli spyware Pegasus. The woman had accused then chief justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment.


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Published on: Friday, July 23, 2021, 02:49 PM IST