N Biren Singh questions timing of Pegasus leak

·2-min read
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh

New Delhi [India], July 21 (ANI): Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Tuesday said that the report of the use of Pegasus for spying on Indian nationals and leaders is "unacceptable", if true.

He, however, added that the timing of the leaked list of potential targets for surveillance raises many questions as it came ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament.

"The report of the use of Pegasus for spying on Indian nationals and leaders is unacceptable, if true. However, the timing of the leaked list of potential targets for surveillance, a day prior to the beginning of the Monsoon session of Parliament raises many questions," said the Manipur Chief Minister.

The names of over 40 Indian journalists appeared on the leaked list of potential targets for surveillance by an unidentified agency using Pegasus spyware, according to a report published in The Wire on Sunday.

According to the report, the journalists who were targeted work for some news organisations in the country including Hindustan Times, The Hindu, India Today, Indian Express and Network18. Many of them cover matters related to Defence, Home Ministry, Election Commission and Kashmir among others.

However, Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Monday said there is 'no substance' in the media report regarding the use of Pegasus on WhatsApp, adding that the report was an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions.

On July 19, the Bharatiya Janata Party hit out at the Congress for accusing the government of its role in the alleged illegal surveillance of journalists using Pegasus spyware and said that there is not a shred of evidence that shows the linkage of the government or the BJP.

Outrightly rejecting the allegations, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad termed it as a pre-planned strategy by some to raise the Pegasus story just before the Monsoon session of the Parliament. (ANI)

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