Friday September 17, 2021

Ruckus in Indian parliament over spying through Pegasus

AFP
July 21, 2021

NEW DELHI: The Indian parliament was disrupted for the second day running on Tuesday by noisy opposition calls for an investigation into reports of snooping on politicians and others with Israeli-made spyware Pegasus.

The parties, led by the main opposition Congress, shouted slogans and raised ruckus in both houses of parliament that had reconvened Monday after being cut short in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Shaktisinh Gohil, a Congress spokesman, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi´s government should clearly say whether it used Pegasus to spy on dozens of politicians, journalists, activists and critics.

“If yes, then the government should order a joint parliamentary committee probe to investigate the entire matter,” he told reporters here.

The Congress also demonstrated in the heart of the capital before police intervened and detained several protesters.

Carrying banners, toy binoculars and magnifying glasses, the demonstrators accused the ruling party of ordering the hacking of smartphones.

More than 1,000 Indian phone numbers were among tens of thousands worldwide selected as possibly of interest to clients of NSO Group, maker of the Pegasus spyware, according to an investigation by a group of media outlets.

The identities behind around 300 of the numbers were verified by the international consortium of media outlets and included Modi´s main political rival, Rahul Gandhi of Congress.