New Delhi, 29 January 2022
The The New York Times has published a detailed story today documenting the use of Israeli software Pegasus for illegal surveillance by governments including far-right ones. It specifically confirms what the Modi regime has yet to clearly state: that on Modi’s visit to Israel, Modi and Netanyahu “had agreed on the sale of a package of sophisticated weapons and intelligence gear worth roughly $2 billion — with Pegasus and a missile system as the centerpieces.”
We know that Pegasus has been used to illegally snoop on the Bhima Koregaon prisoners and plant evidence on them; also that Pegasus which can take control of the phone cameras of the surveilled persons, has been used to snoop on Indian journalists, opposition leaders, some leaders of the ruling BJP, and many many women. Since NYT has now confirmed that it is the Government of India that bought Pegasus, it is certainly the Modi Government that is responsible for this surveillance of Indian citizens which violates Indian laws and India’s Constitutional protections enjoyed by citizens. It is also guilty of using lakhs of crores of rupees worth of tax payers’ money from the treasury towards this illegal and extremely expensive software, without mentioning the expense in the Budget or taking parliamentary approval. This is thus a massive act of corruption, since the surveillance has chosen to target only those whom the ruling party sees as a political threat. So public funds have been used to carry out illegal snooping for the private political benefit of certain leaders of the ruling BJP.
The Prime Minister must directly be held responsible and punished for the widespread use of Pegasus to snoop on the private lives of citizens, especially journalists, activists and politicians who are critical of the Government.
- CPIML Central Committee