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Pegasus allegation an international conspiracy to malign India: Bommai

Bengaluru: Karnataka home minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said the allegations of phone tapping using Israeli Pegasus software is an international conspiracy to spread misinformation and controversy to malign the nation
PUBLISHED ON JUL 22, 2021 01:18 AM IST

Bengaluru: Karnataka home minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said the allegations of phone tapping using Israeli Pegasus software is an international conspiracy to spread misinformation and controversy to malign the nation.

His remarks come a day after an investigative consortium reported on Tuesday that phone numbers linked to a former Karnataka deputy chief minister and associates of two former CMs were potentially targeted for surveillance using Israeli spyware in 2019, prompting the Congress to blame the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the collapse of the state government at the time.

“It is a conspiracy involving foreign press where these kinds of misinformation campaigns have been done against India. In past too, many names came up regarding Swiss Bank accounts, now there are cases against its CEO. Using digital platforms, they try to destabilise different countries. Now, the eyes are set on India,” he told the media.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Congress had announced that it will organise a rally from Vidhana Soudha to Raj Bhavan on Thursday in protest against alleged surveillance of phone numbers of key Congress leaders using Pegasus spyware.

All Congress MLAs, MLCs, MPs and other leaders would participate in the protest march, and they will submit a memorandum to Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot seeking a probe into the matter, said a communication from the party.

Following a direction from Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah, Congress legislative party secretary E Tukaram issued a communication to all legislators instructing them to take part in the protest march.

On Wednesday, KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar tweeted saying India’s democracy has been hacked. “It’s not our phones; it’s our democracy which has been hacked! We have to reclaim the nation from this autocratic behaviour. Hacking into people’s phones and private lives, using that information for politics, at taxpayers’ expense… these things don’t happen in democracies,” he wrote.

The Congress party on Tuesday had demanded a probe headed by the Supreme court judge into the alleged phone tapping.

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