Continuing to target the Centre over the Pegasus row, Shiv Sena on Wednesday said that Pegasus is a cyber attack on the select Indians and such an attack can not happen without the consent of the Union government. The Saamana editorial further said that the Pegasus attack is more dangerous than the emergency. The “real fathers” of the Pegasus are in our country and should find them, it added.
“The Pegasus is a cyber attack on the select Indians and such an attack can not happen without the consent of the Union government. Who will take responsibility for the Pegasus spying matter? Firstly, the entire matter should be probed by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC). Else, the Supreme Court should take the suo moto cognizance and appoint an independent committee. The national interest lies in it,” said the editorial in Saamana.
On Tuesday, a delegation of Shiv Sena MPs led by Vinayak Raut, Sena’s party leader in Lok Sabha, met the Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla and demanded setting up JPC in the Pegasus row and stern action against those responsible for it. The Sena leaders, in their letter to Speaker, stated that, as per the report, at least 40 people including opposition leaders, ministers, journalists, Supreme Court judges and others were put on surveillance.
The editorial further said that a handful of people celebrate the black day every year for the imposition of an emergency. “The Pegasus attack is more dangerous than the emergency. The real fathers of the Pegasus are in our country and should find them,” it remarked.
Terming it as a direct attack on the Right to Privacy, the Sena mouthpiece further said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah has made a surprising statement that it is an international conspiracy to defame the country and the democracy. “Can the Home Minister tell who is exactly defaming the country? The government, democracy, and country are yours. Then, who has the courage to do all this?” asked the editorial.
It further said that when the instances of spying were reported during the Congress regime, BJP then had demanded the resignation of the Prime Minister and Home Minister by holding them responsible for it. “Now, it is in power but is not ready to have a discussion on the issue in the Parliament,” it added.
It also said that the four pillars of democracy such as Judiciary, Parliament, Executive and Press were kept under surveillance. “Now, the question is who bought the Pegasus services in India to keep an eye on the political opponents. This has happened for the first time in the history of our country,” said the editorial.
“During US President Nixon’s tenure, the watergate scandal took place. The President had to resign and go home. …Similarly, Rajiv Gandhi had alleged that two policemen were stationed outside his house by the then Chandrashekhar government. The Congress withdrew support to the government which led to its fall. The Pegasus attack is more dangerous than all this. This is because the technology was used not much developed during that period,” the editorial further read.
Calling it an attack on “individual freedom,” the editorial stated: “We considered Israel as a friendly country. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure, this friendship has been further strengthened. Pegasus spyware which is from Israel has snooped on at least 1500 Indians. From Rahul Gandhi to industrialists, politicians, journalists, everyone’s phone has been tapped. This is an attack on individual freedom. This is a straightforward case of spying. The attack has taken place on biggest democracy of the world.”
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Minister of State for Information & Technology and Home Satej Patil has slammed the Modi government saying it is ruining India’s great democratic values and the Pegasus leak was a massive breach of Indian people’s trust and privacy. Patil has also demanded a stronger IT mechanism that could hold the government accountable instead of bullying technology platforms.