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The former staffer of the Supreme Court, who accused former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment, was also a target in the phone hacking case. According to the report of The Wire, three phone numbers of this staffer were monitored. For this an unknown Indian agency used the Israeli spyware Pegasus. The name of this Indian agency is in the list of potential customers of NSO Group, the company that makes Pegasus.
Here, the report also said that the phones of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and election strategist Prashant Kishor were also hacked through Israeli spyware. This has been revealed in the next part of the report released by The Wire on Sunday night. After this report came to the fore, Congress demanded an independent inquiry into the entire matter in Parliament. The party has also demanded the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah.
Court staffer fired in 2018
The staffer whose numbers were targeted was fired from service in December 2018. A week later, he had alleged that it was done for opposing the CJI’s actions. On April 20, Staffer filed his charges through an affidavit. France’s non-profit Forbidden Story Media has a list of those who were targeted.
Target made after accusing CJI
French media has said that this staffer was included in the list of targets only after accusing the CJI. According to the leaked records which are with the French media, apart from 3 numbers related to the woman, 8 numbers of her husband and two brothers were also marked. These numbers were also included in the probable candidates for surveillance in the same week.
11 numbers related to women involved in espionage project
According to the report, 11 numbers associated with the female staffer were included in Pegasys’ espionage project. These were the highest numbers related to a single case in India. The inclusion of a female staffer in the spy list and the timing of her selection suggests that she and her family members were included in the list because she had publicly made very serious allegations against the then Chief Justice of India. This also proves that unreasonable interference and erroneous surveillance had become quite routine in such situations, when there was no such public emergency or even the threat of national security.
Report claims- Government ministers are also under the purview of hacking
It has been said in this report that not only Congress leaders but also the phones of Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnav, who defended the government in Parliament, were hacking targets. Among the names mentioned in the report, these are the prominent ones.
1. The phones of Leader of the Opposition Rahul Gandhi and Abhishek Banerjee, nephew of Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, were also included in this list. 2. The name of IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnav, who defended the government in Parliament, was also included in this list. 3. The name of election strategist Prashant Kishor has also been mentioned in this list. It was he who branded Modi in 2004. 4. The name of former Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa is also included in this list, who had disagreed with the Election Commission’s decision on the complaint against Modi-Shah in the 2009 elections.
Spying on journalists abroad
According to the report, Pegasus clients in different parts of the world spied on journalists who have been exposing the government’s failures or criticizing its decisions. From Asia to America, many countries spied on journalists through Pegasus or kept them on watch lists. In the report, the names of some countries of the world have also been given, where the eyes of the government are on journalists. Topping the list is Azerbaijan, where 48 journalists were on a government watch list. In India this figure is 38.
How many journalists in which country