Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], July 19 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday condemned the alleged hacking of private phones of top political leaders, journalists, businessmen, scientists, constitutional authorities and others "as a shameful attack not just on individual privacy but also on national security by the BJP-led government at the Centre".
Referring to media reports about "targeting" through Pegasus spyware, the Chief Minister termed "it a shocking assault on India's democratic polity by the Union Government, which had compromised national security with this blatantly disgraceful act".
According to an official release, the Chief Minister alleged that with such snooping, "which simply could not have been undertaken by the Israeli company without the central government's go-ahead," the NDA government had put "sensitive information into the hands of various global agencies, governments and organizations with the potential to misuse it against the country".
"This is not only an attack on individual freedom but also on the security of our nation," he said, urging the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognizance of the matter and take action against the NDA government.
"The central government cannot get away with this. They have committed a horrendous sin and they have to be made to pay for it," he said, adding that "nobody has the right to intrude into the lives of its people".
"No government in any part of the world has ever put the security and safety of its own institutions and people at stake in this manner before," the Chief Minister alleged, adding that there appeared to be a global conspiracy to target India, of which the NDA government "was clearly an appalling part".
According to The Wire, the leaked list of potential targets of surveillance was first accessed by France-based Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International and later shared with The Wire and 15 other news organizations worldwide as part of a collaborative investigation named the 'Pegasus Project'.
The government has said that allegations of government surveillance on specific people have no concrete basis or truth associated with it. (ANI)