Pune-based activist among 17 ‘Pegasus Targeted Persons’ demands investigation
Pegasus is a spyware that is believed to have broken through encrypted communication systems such as WhatsApp and can monitor about smartphonesUpdated: Nov 20, 2019 15:26 IST
PUNE: Rupali Jadhav, a member of Kabir Kala Manch and one of the 17 people who were victims of Pegasus snooping, has written to the parliamentary standing committee on information technology in Delhi on Tuesday demanding an inquiry. Pegasus is a spyware that is believed to have broken through encrypted communication systems such as WhatsApp and can monitor about smartphones
The 17 people call themselves “Pegasus Targeted Persons”.
“Through this letter, the Pegasus Targeted Persons have informed the standing committee that they are willing to depose personally before it, and have urged it to use its powers to summon records and officials from the relevant government departments to find out who carried out and authorised this widespread illegal surveillance; what was the role of the state and central governments in this operation and which all individuals have been affected by this,” read a statement by “Pegasus Targeted Persons”.
Kabir Kala Manch was the organiser of the Elgar Parishad that preceded the Bhima Koregaon violence that took place on January 1, 2018, that led to the subsequent arrest of nine activists and lawyers. The Pune police have alleged that Elgar Parishad is a part of an elaborate plan of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), a banned organisation, to cause unrest in the democratically elected government of India.
Besides Kabir Kala Manch, two other names related to the Elgar Parishad case which have figured on the list of 17 Pegasus snooping victims are advocate Nihalsing B Rathod and professor Anand Teltumbde. Jadhav refused to comment about the same.
Advocate Rathod was representing advocate Surendra Gadling, one of the nine accused lawyers and activists in the Elgar Parishad case. Besides Gadling, eight others include Varavara Rao, Shoma Sen, Sudha Bharadwaj, Mahesh Raut, Sudhir Dhawale, Arun Ferreira, Rona Wilson and Vernon Gonsalves.
The Pune police had also arrested Anand Teltumbde, a professor and an author, in the same case. Teltumbde is one among the 17 people who had received communication from WhatsApp about the snooping of his phone by Pegasus.
The others on the list include Ajmal Khan, Alok Shukla, Ankit Grewal, Ashish Gupta, Balla Ravindranath, Bela Bhatia, Degree Prasad Chouhan, Jagdish Meshram , Mandeep Singh, Shalini Gera, Sushil, Vidhya , Vira Sathidar and Vivek Sundara, according to a statement issued by the group which calls itself “Pegasus Targeted Persons”.