‘Dictatorship in country’: Opposition mounts attack at Centre on Pegasus row

Published on Jul 27, 2021 06:30 PM IST

Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, accused the government of imposing dictatorship in India and absolving itself from “solving issues in a democratic manner”

Leader of Opposition and Rajya Sabha MP Mallikarjun Kharge along with other MPs speak to media outside Parliament House at Vijay Chowk, in New Delhi. (ANI)
Leader of Opposition and Rajya Sabha MP Mallikarjun Kharge along with other MPs speak to media outside Parliament House at Vijay Chowk, in New Delhi. (ANI)
ByUmar Sofi

The Congress on Tuesday again lashed out at the government for allegedly permitting snooping on “army officers, judges, journalists and opposition leaders” using the Pegasus spyware.

Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, accused the government of imposing dictatorship in India and absolving itself from “solving issues in a democratic manner”. He added that a Supreme Court monitored probe should be carried out so that the truth about the alleged hacking could finally come out.

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Kharge said no democracy in the world would allow such alleged snooping. He alleged dictatorship prevails in the country. “(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi is not ready to solve issues in a democratic manner. We are ready for discussions,” he told reporters outside Parliament.

Kharge asked the government to call an all-party meeting on the alleged snooping while vowing to continue fighting against it.

To be sure, as the methodology of the investigation into the alleged snooping explains, the presence of a number on the database of the alleged targeted numbers for snooping does not indicate an individual’s phone was hacked — just that it was of interest. The leaked database was first obtained by France-based non-profit Forbidden Stories, which shared the information with the reporting partners. The devices associated with 67 of the numbers were analysed by Amnesty International and of these, 37 had signs of being hacked by Pegasus. Of the 37, 10 were in India.

The government has rejected reports of snooping.

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