Himachal Pradesh Congress on Sunday demanded a thorough probe into the alleged tapping of phones during the previous BJP regime in the state to expose the "dimensions of the illegal and criminal act".
"Phone tapping is an illegal act, a very serious matter. The then Karnataka Chief Minister had to resign on this issue in 1998. We would take this issue to its logical ends," Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukkhu told reporters. The party workers would stage rallies at all district headquarters on March 5 and also submit memorandum to the government, seeking a thorough probe into the matter and expose the "illegal and undemocratic" acts of the previous BJP government. He said names of the persons whose phones were kept under surveillance and tapped "legally or illegally" should be made public so that people of the state know "whose right to privacy was infringed" by the then government and for what purpose. Sukkhu demanded registration of cases against the officials allegedly involved in phone tapping under relevant sections of IPC and Indian Telegraph Act and bring them to justice. He said that it was astonishing that out of 789 phones tapped by the CID, permission was taken only in 34 cases. Sukkhu alleged that in one of the tapped conversion, a former minister was heard telling some one "three peti bare sahib ko our ek peti chhota sahib ko pahuncha de" (give three boxes to big boss and two to small one) and added that only a probe can decode "who are big and small bosses". Referring to the cancellation of lease of land given to Pantajali Yogpeeth of Yoga guru Baba Ramdev, Sukkhu said that "Baba Ramdev is a respected persons but lease has been cancelled as several irregularities and violation of laws have come to notice". "It is one of the many cases in which land laws had been subverted and other cases are also being enquired into", he added.