After the suspected case of bugging of offices of finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and his close aides, the Centre has increased the frequency of anti-bugging exercises in all the sensitive offices in the North and South Block.
The counter-intelligence wing of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) regularly conducts these exercises. The frequency such an excercise depends on the sensitivity of an office. But now, according to the sources, the IB has increased the frequency.
Meanwhile, the probe into the finance minister office bugging, claim home ministry sources, was closed by the IB when it found nothing suspicious apart from a chewing gum like adhesive at 16 places in the offices.
According to Kunwar Vikram Singh, who runs a private detective agency in the capital, the de-bugging operations should be conducted daily in all sensitive offices.
The de-bugging device can scan any frequency between one megahertz to four gigahertz, which is normally the frequency scale of listening devices.
The government agencies have some kind of laser guns, which are directed at the target area or office and it reads vibrations emanating from the targeted area.
With the opposition terming the incident as some kind of power-struggle between him and home minister P Chidambaram, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday asked the media not to waste time on ‘bogus things’. “All these are bogus things. Don’t waste your time on this.”
“The retrieval of bugs is more difficult than planting them. Adhesives were found in conference rooms of the finance ministry, which are obviously more difficult to access for an outsider,” adds Vikram Singh.
According to former IB chief Arun Bhagat, if an adhesive or chewing gum is found at many places, it obviously raises a doubt. “Any professional would not use a chewing gum to plant bugs as there are adhesives and gels, which work better in an air-conditioned environment,” added Bhagat. “It might be an attempt to bug which was not successful,” he added.