Raipur: After creating a tough situation for the Modi government in Parliament, the ‘Pegasus’ issue created a political stir in Chhattisgarh also. The political situation in the state became volatile as the ruling party leaders and workers adopted attacking mode on the issue.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel while speaking to media in Raipur on Wednesday alleged that the 'terrified' Modi government is continuously snooping on the activities of political leaders, journalists, activists, chief of security installations through Israel-made spying software ‘Pegasus’. The nation has the right to know whether the spying was carried out under a deal. How much had been paid for it? The Israeli company NSO Group made a disclaimer that it only used to sell the software to the government and government agencies to crackdown on terrorist activities, the CM said.
Last year some people's phones in Chhattisgarh were hacked via Pegasus. Some Israeli officers also visited Chhattisgarh and we are investigating the case, CM Baghel claimed.
However, on the issue, on Wednesday, Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (CPCC) President Mohan Markam also levelled serious allegations against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre of using Pegasus spyware for snooping on politicians, journalists and bureaucrats in the country.
While addressing a press conference at state Congress party office, Markam said that the BJP government at the Centre has violated the fundamental rights of the people of the country through Pegasus spyware. By using the spyware it had not bugged the cellphones of politicians, journalists and bureaucrats in the country, but also illegally entered the bedrooms of our family members. Everybody's privacy, secrecy is at stake, Markam complained.
The BJP government at the Centre used Pegasus spyware to bring down the elected Congress-JDS government in Karnataka, Congress government in Madhya Pradesh and other elected governments in the country, he added.
He pronounced the BJP as Bharatiya Jasoos Party. Spying on India’s security forces, judiciary, cabinet ministers, opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi, journalists and other activists through a foreign entity's spyware is not only ‘treason’, but also an inexcusable breach of national security, Markam said.
The State Congress Chief said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah must apologize for the illegal act.
Meanwhile, CPCC’s Communication Department Chairman Shailesh Nitin Trivedi alleged Raman Singh's government had used Pegasus spyware to snoop the telephones of the then CPCC President Bhupesh Baghel and other senior Congress leaders in 2017.
The Central government should publicize the details of Israeli officials, who had visited Chhattisgarh in 2017 and had participated in a meeting with the officials of the state.
He also asked Dr. Raman Singh to clarify: "Were the papers destroyed near BTI ground in 2019 have any incriminating details against Pegasus or Israeli officers?"
The e-mail transactions between intelligence, government and NSO should be investigated, Nitin demanded.