Pegasus Controversy: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has hit out at the Union government headed by Prime Minister NarendraModi, saying that it has committed treason while reacting to a New York Times report which claimed that the Indian government bought the Pegasus spy tool in 2017 as part of a deal with Israel.
The spyware, Pegasus, made by Israeli firm NSO has been in the centre of a big controversy over its alleged used against the public, military and civil officers, politicians, activists, judges and journalists for illegal surveillance.
He tweeted, “The Modi government bought Pegasus to spy on state leaders and the public. They have targeted the ruling party, the Opposition, the court, by tapping their phones. This is treason. The Modi government has committed treason.” Other leaders of the Congress also attacked the government over the report.
The report by The New York Times said the Israeli spyware Pegasus and a missile system were the “centrepieces” of the $2 billion deal in 2017 when Prime Minister NarendraModi visited Israel – the first by any Indian Prime Minister.
Leader of Opposition in RajyaSabhaMallikarjunKharge tweeted, “Why did ModiGovt act like the enemies of India and use a warfare weapon against Indian citizens? Illegal snooping using Pegasus amounts to treason. No one is above the law and we will ensure that justice is served.”
Citing the media report, Congress spokesperson Shama Mohammed said this is “irrefutable proof” that the BJP government used military-grade spyware to snoop on the citizens of India, including former Congress president Rahul Gandhi.RajyaSabha MP and senior Congress leader ShaktisinhGohil alleged that the “revelations” in the report imply that the government “misled” the Supreme Court and Parliament on the issue.
Earlier, the Defence Ministry has said in Parliament that it has not made any transaction with the Israeli firm NSO. A technical committee appointed by the Supreme Court earlier this month sought information from people who suspect their phones were targeted.The government has, however, never said in an affidavit or in parliament that it has not bought Pegasus.