The Shiv Sena described the Pegasus spyware attack as more dangerous than the 1975 emergency and demanded a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) investigation into the surveillance operation on Wednesday. “A JPC probe is our first question. Otherwise, the Supreme Court should take suo moto action and appoint a commission to investigate allegations that Pegasus spyware was used to spy on journalists, politicians, ministers, judges and others,” the Sena said.
In an editorial in party spokesman Saamana, the Sena said: “The Pegasus attack has taken place on a few selected Indians and cannot take place without the approval of the central government. Who is responsible for Pegasus sniffing? We demand a JPC probe because it is in national interest. But does anyone care about national interest or national reputation? Every year, a handful of people consider Emergency Black Day. Pegasus attack is more dangerous than Emergency. Who are the real masterminds behind the Pegasus attack? This should be investigated.”
The editors said: “We considered Israel to be a friendly country. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure, this friendship was further strengthened. Pegasus spyware, originating from Israel, has snooped on at least 1,500 Indians. From Rahul Gandhi to industrialists, politicians, journalists, everyone’s phone has been tapped. This is an attack on individual freedom. This is a clear case of espionage. The attack has taken place on the largest democracy in the world.”
“Our Home Secretary Amit Shah says this is an international conspiracy to defame our country and our democracy. The Home Secretary making such a statement is surprising. Who is actually defaming the country? Can the Minister of the Interior tell us that? The government is yours, the land and democracy is yours. Who then has the guts to perform this operation?
“During the tenure of US President Nixon, the Watergate scandal took place. The President had to resign… Similarly, Rajiv Gandhi had claimed that two police officers had been stationed outside his home by the then Chandrashekhar government. Congress withdrew support for the government, leading to its downfall. The Pegasus attack is more dangerous than all this. This is because the technology was not very developed at that time… The Modi government is not aware of the fact that telephones of thousands of Indians are being tapped,” said the Saamana.
The newspaper added: “During the Congress regime, the opposition BJP demanded investigation into espionage cases. Now the BJP is in power, but refuses to even hold a discussion in parliament.”
Meanwhile, Sate Minister for Information & Technology and Home Affairs, Satej Patil, criticized the Modi government, saying it “ruined India’s great democratic values” and that the Pegasus leak was a “massive breach of trust and privacy.” of the Indian population”. Patil also demanded a stronger IT mechanism that could hold the government accountable rather than “bullying technology platforms”.
In a tweet, Patil, who is also a senior congressional leader, said: “The Pegasus leak is a huge violation of the Indian people’s trust and privacy. By spying on Indian citizens who use taxpayers’ money with the help of an international agency, the Modi government the great democratic values of India.”
In another tweet, he said: “We need stronger IT measures that, rather than bully tech platforms into giving up user information, hold the government accountable and protect the privacy and security of every Indian!”