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Showing posts with label NEWS AND POLITICAL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NEWS AND POLITICAL. Show all posts

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways

 

Shri Nitin Gadkari meets Automobile Manufacturers, emphasizes on quick roll out of Flex Fuel Vehicles

 

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari met a delegation of CEOs from  Society of India Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) comprising of Private, Commercial and Two-Wheeler Automobile Manufacturers .

The delegation presented an update of the Auto Industry’s status  and requested for Deferment of emission-based regulations such as BS-6 phase 2, CAFÈ Phase 2 among others  such as OBD regulations for Two-Wheelers. Shri Gadkari emphasized on the need for a quick roll-out of Flex-Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) capable of running on 100% ethanol and gasoline into the Indian auto market within a year’s time, vis-à-vis successful available technologies in Brazil and USA .

The Minister congratulated the OEMs performing well on the front of vehicle-engineering and has appealed all Private Vehicle Manufacturers to compulsorily provide a minimum of 6 Airbags across all variants and segments of the vehicle, in the interest of passenger safety.

The requests of SIAM are currently under consideration and a follow-up meeting may be organised within a fortnight.


 

 

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Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Journalists N Ram, Sashi Kumar petition SC to set up probe into Pegasus snooping scandal

 

The petition says such mass surveillance using military-grade spyware abridged several fundamental rights and appeared to represent an attempt to infiltrate, attack and destabilise independent institutions that act as critical pillars in a democracy.

 Journalists N Ram, Sashi Kumar petition SC to set up probe into Pegasus snooping scandal 


SENIOR journalists N Ram and Sashi Kumar Balakrishnan Menon have approached the Supreme Court seeking a probe by a sitting or a retired judge of the Supreme Court into the Pegasus snooping scandal and a direction to the Centre to disclose if it had or any of its agencies obtained license(s) for the Israeli spyware.

N Ram is a veteran journalist who has served as Editor-in-Chief, Publisher and Chairman of the Hindu Group of publications, which publishes the Hindu, the Hindu Business Line and Frontline. He presently serves as a Director of the Hindu Group of publications.

Sashi Kumar is a print and broadcast journalist, filmmaker and media entrepreneur. He founded and chairs the Media Development Foundation which administers the Asian College of Journalism.

Recently a global investigation, involving several leading publications around the world including The Guardian (UK), Le Monde and Radio France (France), The Washington Post and Frontline (USA), Haaretz (Israel) and The Wire (India)), has revealed that more than 142 persons, including journalists, lawyers, government ministers, opposition politicians, constitutional functionaries and civil society activists from India were identified as potential targets for surveillance using the Pegasus software.


The petition says such mass surveillance using military-grade spyware abridged several fundamental rights and appeared to represent an attempt to infiltrate, attack and destabilise independent institutions that act as critical pillars in a democracy.

“It is concerning to note that the Government of India has not categorically ruled out obtaining Pegasus licenses to conduct surveillance in their response, and has taken no steps to ensure a credible and independent investigation into these extremely serious allegations,” it adds.


The senior journalists have contended that the Pegasus hack was a direct attack on communicational, intellectual and informational privacy, and critically endangered the meaningful exercise of privacy in these contexts besides such targeted hacking/interception of journalists, doctors, lawyers, civil society activists, government ministers and opposition politicians seriously compromised the effective exercise of the fundamental right to free speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a). It had an obvious chilling effect on expression by threatening invasion into the most core and private aspects of a person’s life.

Newchic WW

The plea alleges that the legal regime for surveillance under Section 5(2) of the Telegraph Act has been completely bypassed in the present case.

Ritu Kumar [CPS] IN

“Surveillance/interception is justified only in cases of public emergency or in the interests of public safety, and the existence of such conditions must be inferred reasonably and cannot be determined solely on the assessment of the government”, the plea says.

Meanwhile, the West Bengal Government yesterday announced that it had constituted a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Madan B Lokur to look into allegations of snooping on politicians, officials and journalists by the government using the Israeli spyware, Pegasus.

 SOURCE ; /www.theleaflet.in/

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Deaths during second wave remains a living document of our failure: Manoj Jha in RS

 Deaths during second wave remains a living document of our failure: Manoj Jha in RS

During the Rajya Sabha proceedings, MP Manoj Jha called on the PM and the Parliament to apologise for the unrecognised deaths of people during the second wave. This viral video of Jha sparked debates and raised several important questions around the nation, writes Abhishek Anand. 

——–

THE Rashtriya Janata Dal MP, Manoj Jha recently remarked in the Rajya Sabha that the parliament owes an apology to each individual who lost their lives during the second wave of Novel Coronavirus in our country. He said these deaths that were not even counted are a “living document of our failure” and something that the future generations would never forgive the parliament for.

The Grief of Millions

The MP expressed his grief on the demise of two of his colleagues and former Members of Parliament, Raghunath Mohapatra and Rajeev Satav. He added, “Never in Parliament’s history, between two sessions, we have had to read obituaries of 50 people. Suddenly they are not there. This pain is personal, I don’t want to talk about numbers. My number, your number. Look for numbers in your grief.”

He added that in this moment of disparity, everyone has experienced the loss of their loved one.

“There is not a single person in the House, or the lower house, or outside of it who can say otherwise. The pain is there and I can tell you about that,” he said.

 


This statement came after the Central Government submitted a report to the Rajya Sabha claiming that there were no deaths due to lack of oxygen in the country on Tuesday. The MP highlighted the same and said, “People would call for oxygen. We could not arrange it. People think he is an MP, he will arrange oxygen. Out of a hundred phone calls, we succeeded twice or thrice. Who will tell us about numbers? We don’t want to talk about any numbers. We have to see that those who have gone have left behind a living document of our failure.”

Jha remarked that when he talks about the failure of the government, it is not only of the present government. But it indeed is the collective failure of all the formed governments since 1947. This helps raise the question of health and security. During the second wave, there was a mad rush for oxygen and Remdesivir. People who didn’t even know the pronunciation of the words were pulling all the stops to save their family, friends, and loved ones. How can someone talk about the numbers at the moment when the challenge is far from over?

On the large advertisements that claimed Free Vaccines, Free Treatment, and Free Ration, provided by the central government, he said, “I am not saying this as a representative of a party. I am speaking on behalf of lakhs of people who want to be heard here. This is a welfare state, right? If a poor person buys a bar of soap in a village, then he is as much a taxpayer as Adani and Ambani. You are telling him free vaccine? Free ration? Free treatment? Nothing is free. He has a stake. This welfare state has a commitment. Don’t denigrate that, don’t demonise him, don’t make him small. This is my request to you.”

Welfare State

A welfare state is essentially a form of governance in which the government is responsible for the protection and promotion of its citizens’ economic and social well-being. It is founded on the ideals of equal opportunity, equitable economic distribution, and public responsibility for those who are unable to get the bare necessities of life. The two major interpretations of this are:

  • A model in which the government takes the primary responsibility for its citizens’ well-being. In theory, because all aspects of welfare are considered and universally applied to everyone as a “right,” this responsibility should be comprehensive.
  • The welfare state can also refer to the establishment of a “social safety net” with minimum welfare standards in different ways.

This term was used in the context that the government keeps advertising their ‘free vaccine drive’ and different subsidies. Since we live in a welfare state, each individual has a stake in the state and in turn, the state has a commitment towards its citizens.

Constitutional Changes Suggested

Amidst the pandemic, the healthcare system and the entire structure of workplaces have been put to test. He mentioned that the pandemic has posed tremendous challenges in front of us and we need new laws for the same. He suggested that:

  • The Right to Health should be directly added under the Right to Life which comes under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. This will ensure that the hospitals would think twice to play around with the right to life.
  • The Right to Work should be worked on. Leave aside the topic of population growth, let the demographers work on it. But, the right to work is something that is in our hands. The two houses should come together to create a framework of the policy that safeguards people’s jobs and ensures a proper system is placed.

He expressed his objection to the way people let go of their jobs in the hospitality sector. He said, “I raised their voice constantly. Nobody is listening. If you are not listening to a parliamentarian, then those small contractual workers who got turned away, who will listen to them?”

Who is the system? 

In the discourses that have taken place during the pandemic, it has been constantly mentioned that the collapse of the healthcare framework is a failure of the system and not of the government.  He asked, “Sir, who is this system? Since our childhoods we have heard that behind a system is a person, there is an imagination behind a system. If the system has failed, whether in Delhi or in the lanes of a village, then the governments of that place have failed. Don’t call it a system. It is they who make the system.”

He concluded his speech by saying, “Today, even saying “Jai Hind” doesn’t bring the same joy it did in normal days. I did not complain once. Not to anyone. Who could I complain to? I am pained. I want to wake myself and you up. The floating bodies in the Ganga…If there’s a need for dignity in life, there’s an even greater need for dignity in death. We have witnessed undignified deaths. And if we don’t address this, our future generations will not forgive us. You publish large advertisements, fill four pages of a newspaper to say thank you this, thank you that. We should get the chance to say thank you to history. If anyone is pained by my words, I ask for your forgiveness on behalf of those lakhs of people who have died.”

Ritu Kumar [CPS] IN

The speech became viral after it was shared online by Brut India, a digital video publisher. The video has been shared heavily on social media.

After a long time, a politician has become a ‘true representative’ of people’s thoughts and grief. The speech conveyed the emotions that the entire country went through during this nightmare of a period.

(Abhishek Anand is a student of the Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication, Pune, and an intern at The Leaflet.)

SOURCE ;  /www.theleaflet.in


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Social media looks at the big picture.

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Social media is irreplaceable.

But never irrelevant.

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He Was Killed in a Staged Encounter': Kashmiri Family Rejects Police Version After Son's Death

 Imran Qayoom's family believes he had nothing to do with the militancy. The police, however, claim he was a militant and have buried his body in a far-off graveyard.

 'He Was Killed in a Staged Encounter': Kashmiri Family Rejects Police Version After Son's Death 

Srinagar: Abdul Qayoom Dar last saw his son, Imran Qayoom, on July 20 near a fuel station, barely 500 metres from their residence in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

Abdul asked his son to return home.

Imran, a marketing executive with a leading electrical appliance manufacturing company, had an argument with his father a day ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha on July 20.

Imran’s brother, Zahid Qayoom, a postgraduate management student, was at home when the argument broke out. “The family was planning to find a suitable match for him and we were pressurising him to give up his bad habits completely,” said Zahid, revealing that his brother was a victim of drug abuse.

Police sources said Imran was undergoing treatment for heroin abuse. He has also been named in two FIRs filed under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act.

 

Sources said he was treated first at a drug de-addiction centre in Srinagar and was then undergoing a rehabilitation programme at a government-run psychiatry hospital in the capital city.

On Sunday morning, an official called Abdul and asked him to turn up at a police station along with his son. Abdul, who works as a driver in the J&K government’s SRTC department, thought his son was again involved in a drugs-related case.

“I told the official to arrest Imran and put him behind bars,” said Abdul, adding that he was away on duty in Kund village when he got the call.

 

When Abdul returned home in the afternoon, his phone buzzed again. On the other side of the call was a male voice claiming to be a police official, who asked him to come over to a police post in Anantnag and identify his son’s dead body.

Imran Qayoom. Photo: Muneeb-ul-Islam

“I felt that the police were playing a prank so that we would show up,” said Zahid, Imran’s younger brother, adding that his father complied and took Abdul Rashid Dar, the sarpanch of the area, along with him.

At the police post, a policeman showed them a photo of a dead body. Although the young man in the photo was wearing the same blue shirt that Imran had dressed himself in on the day that he left home, Abdul couldn’t recognise his son.

In a statement, the J&K Police later claimed to have gunned down an unidentified militant in Kulgam district, adjoining Botengoo, where Imran is from.

A police spokesperson said on Twitter: “#KulgamEncounterUpdate: 01 unidentified terrorist killed. #Search going on. Further details shall follow @JmuKmrPolice.”

In the statement, the J&K Police said: “Based on specific input about the presence of terrorist in village Sursano Kulgam, a cordon and search operation was launched by Kulgam Police and 34 RR.”

“During the search operation, the terrorists hiding in the orchids started firing indiscriminately upon the security forces, which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the statement circulated by police through a messaging app said.

“In the ensuing encounter, one terrorist was killed whose identity is yet to be ascertained. Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the dead body. All the recovered material has been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other terror crimes,” the statement added.

While a case (FIR No. 46/2021) has been registered, the identity of the militant has so far not been revealed officially. The daily bulletin issued by J&K Police on its official website doesn’t even mention the encounter.

While Imran’s family is still in the dark, they reject the police’s claims.

“If my son was a militant, why was he allowed to roam around freely? He even celebrated Eid with us and distributed the mutton of the sacrificial sheep,” said Abdul, unable to hold back tears.

“He was killed in a staged encounter. They should now at least return his dead body so that we can perform his last rites,” Dar added.

 

While police sources said Imran was missing from his home, his family claims that he had been staying with either his cousins or friends after running away from home. Two of Imran’s uncles live in their neighbourhood in Botengoo village.

“He spent a couple of nights at our place. He used to hang out with his friends and often spent nights with them. During the time after he ran away from home, he was seen every single day by his father, brother or cousins,” his uncle claimed.

According to the family, there is no record of Imran in the police books other than the two cases under NDPS Act. Imran’s medical record, accessed by The Wire, shows improvement in his heroin withdrawal symptoms since last year. He had last visited the hospital in February.

Imran’s mother with other relatives. Photo: Muneeb-ul-Islam

Zahid, Imran’s younger brother, said the photo seen by the family showed the body had a bullet mark near the chest area.

“We spent at least three hours searching for the body at different police stations where policemen kept referring us. We finally arrived in Srinagar PCR at around 5:30 pm where we were told that the burial had taken place in Handwara,” said Zahid.

“They have killed my brother and now they don’t want us to even pray at his grave,” he added.

In the last few years, J&K Police have been denying bodies of local militants killed in gunfights with security forces to their families. Security agencies believe that the funerals of local militants killed in encounters turn into a hotspot for recruitment of Kashmiri youth by militant outfits.

These militants are, instead, buried in graveyards far away from their homes, although a small number of family members are allowed to perform their last rites.

But in case of Imran, the family wasn’t even allowed to see his face or perform his last rites.

“He was not a militant. He had found a job only three months ago. I still doubt that the body in the photo was that of my brother. I feel he is alive,” said Zahid.

Senior superintendents of Anantnag and Kulgam police, Imtiyaz Hussain and Gurinderpal Singh, refused to comment on Imran’s family’s allegations.

The family has written to the J&K administration to order a probe into the killing.

“I request your goodself kindly look into the matter personally and help the family to retrieve his dead body and an FIR should be lodged to investigate the matter properly so that justice is delivered as we are a law-abiding family,” Imran’s father wrote in a letter to deputy commissioner, Anantnag Piyush Singla.

The letter has also been marked to J&K’s lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha and other senior officers of civil and police administration. Singla said the administration is “looking into the matter”.

The letter to the deputy commissioner. Photo: Muneeb-ul-Islam

“If the probe finds out that he was a militant, then we have no right to claim his body. But we know that he was innocent,” Imran’s sister, Ambreen Qayoom, a lawyer, said. “They have killed him in an encounter and now we can’t bring him back. But they should at least return his body. It is our fundamental right.”

This is not the first time that the family of a Kashmiri youngster, who is accused of being involved in the militancy by security agencies, has contested the official claims.

On June 30, 17-year-old Zakir Bashir was killed when a gunfight broke out in Chimmer village of Kulgam district. While police had claimed that Zakir was involved in militancy, his family had disputed the claims.

“He was beaten up badly after being dragged out of home and when they (security forces) felt that he was going to die, they slit his throat and shot him,” Farooq Ahmad Bhat, a relative of Zakir’s, told a local news portal.

In December, 20-year-old Aijaz Maqbool, was killed in an encounter on the outskirts of Srinagar. While police claimed that he was a militant, his father, Maqbool Ganie, who works in the J&K Police, told the media that he was planning to take admission in a post-graduate course in Punjab University next year.

 They kill my son in a fake encounter? Why didn’t they kill me instead?” Ganaie, who has reserved a grave for his son at their ancestral graveyard in south Kashmir, said.

Earlier in July last year, three labourers from Rajouri in Jammu, who went missing in Shopian district, were found to have been killed in a staged encounter by the Army. Although the police had launched investigation, it was stonewalled due to procedural issues involved in carrying out criminal proceedings against the armed forces.

SOURCE ; THE WIRE

 

Social media is bold. 

Social media is young.

Social media raises questions.

 Social media is not satisfied with an answer.

Social media looks at the big picture.

 Social media is interested in every detail.

social media is curious.

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Social media is irreplaceable.

But never irrelevant.

Social media is you.

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Pegasus Project: 151 Names Revealed By The Wire On Snoop List So Far

 Among those who may have been targets for surveillance are politicians, journalists, activists, students and many more.

 Pegasus Project: 151 Names Revealed By The Wire On Snoop List So Far 

Illustration: The Wire

 

New Delhi: Over the past few days, The Wire – in collaboration with 16 other media organisations – has been revealing the names of people who were either persons of interest or forensically identified as having been targeted by clients of the NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware.

Those on the list include heads of state, political figures, activists, students, lawyers and journalists, among others.

The France-based media non-profit organisation Forbidden Stories had accessed a leaked database of 50,000 numbers who may have been targeted for surveillance by clients of NSO Group. Since the Israeli company says that the advanced spyware is only sold to “vetted governments”, it is safe to assume that these individuals were targets or potential targets of government or military agencies.

The news organisations working on Pegasus Project were independently able to identify the owners of over 1,500 numbers across at least 10 countries. A small cross-section of these phones was forensically examined to find traces of Pegasus.

 

Amnesty International, in collaboration with The Wire, was able to forensically examine the phones of 10 Indians, all of which showed signs of either an attempted hack or a successful compromise.

To be sure, the presence of a number in the database does not imply that the person’s device was successfully targeted. Unless evidence is established through a forensic examination, it is impossible to say if there was an attempted or successful hack. Therefore, an important distinction has been made to differentiate the names that appear on the list. A potential target is someone whose number appears on the list, but whose device has not been forensically analysed by Amnesty. A person is classified as a target if their phones show evidence of an attempted or successful hack.

Until now, spread across several stories – all of which can be found hereThe Wire has revealed the names of 151 people who were targets or potential targets for surveillance by clients of the NSO Group. All of them are listed below. Names that have been revealed by Pegasus Project partners but not by The Wire have not been included here.

Note: The list will be updated as The Wire publishes new stories.

Journalists

The Wire has confirmed the numbers of at least 40 journalists who were either targets or potential targets for surveillance. Forensic analysis was conducted on the phones of seven journalists, of which five showed traces of a successful infection by Pegasus. [Read more: Snoop List Has 40 Indian Journalists, Forensic Tests Confirm Presence of Pegasus Spyware on Some]

1. M.K. Venu: A founding editor of The Wire. His phone was also forensically analysed and traces of Pegasus were found.

2. Sushant Singh: Former Indian Express journalist who writes on national security. After a forensic analysis of his phone, Amnesty arrived at the conclusion that it had been compromised.

3. Siddharth Varadarajan: A founding editor of The Wire, his phone was forensically analysed. The analysis showed that the phone was compromised by Pegasus.

4. Paranjoy Guha Thakurta: Former EPW editor, who now writes for Newsclick. His phone was compromised by Pegasus, forensic analysis revealed.

5. S.N.M. Abdi: Former Outlook journalist, whose phone was compromised according to forensic analysis.

6. Vijaita Singh: The Hindu journalist who covers the home ministry. Forensic analysis of her phone showed evidence of an attempted hack, but no evidence of a successful compromise.

7. Smita Sharma: Former TV18 anchor. Forensic analysis found evidence of an attempted hack but nothing to indicate that her phone was successfully infected.

8. Shishir Gupta: Executive editor at Hindustan Times

9. Rohini Singh: Freelance journalist who has written several exposes for The Wire about controversial business dealings of politicians or their family members.

10. Devirupa Mitra: The Wire‘s diplomatic editor.

 

11. Prashant Jha: Views editor of Hindustan Times, formerly the bureau chief.

12. Prem Shankar Jha: A veteran journalist who held editorial positions at Hindustan Times, the Times of India and several other newspapers. He is a regular contributor to The Wire.

13. Swati Chaturvedi: Freelance journalist who has contributed to The Wire. She wrote a book about the infamous BJP IT Cell.

14. Rahul Singh: Defence correspondent for Hindustan Times.

15. Aurangzeb Naqshbandi: A political reporter who formerly worked for Hindustan Times and covered the Congress party.

16. Ritika Chopra: A journalist for the Indian Express who covers the education and Election Commission beats.

17. Muzamil Jaleel: Another Indian Express journalist who covers Kashmir.

18. Sandeep Unnithan: India Today journalist who reports on defence and the Indian military.

19. Manoj Gupta: Editor of investigations and security affairs at TV18.

20. J. Gopikrishnan: An investigative reporter with The Pioneer, he broke the 2G telecom scam.

21. Saikat Datta: Formerly a national security reporter.

22. Ifthikar Gilani: Former DNA reporter who reports on Kashmir.

23. Manoranjan Gupta: Northeast-based editor in chief of Frontier TV.

24. Sanjay Shyam: A Bihar-based journalist.

25. Jaspal Singh Heran: An octogenarian who is the editor-in-chief of the Ludhiana-based Punjabi daily Rozana Pehredar.

26. Roopesh Kumar Singh: A freelance based in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh.

 Deepak Gidwani: Former correspondent of DNA, Lucknow.

28. Sumir Kaul: A journalist for news agency PTI.

29. Shabir Hussain: A Delhi-based political commentator from Kashmir.

Politicians, political figures or individual linked to them

1. Rahul Gandhi: The Congress party leader who was presumed prime ministerial candidate for the past two general elections.

2. Alankar Sawai: A close aide of Rahul Gandhi.

3. Sachin Rao: Another aide of Rahul Gandhi who is a member of the Congress Working Committee.

 Prashant Kishor: An election strategist who has worked for several political parties, including the BJP and the Congress. His phone was forensically analysed and showed signs of a successful hack.

5. Abhishek Banerjee: A Trinamool Congress MP who is the nephew of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.


6. Ashwini Vaishnaw: A former IAS officer who was made a Union cabinet minister in the recent expansion.

7. Prahlad Singh Patel: Another cabinet minister in the Union government, his wife, secretaries, assistants, cook and gardener, etc.

8. Pravin Togadia: Former head of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

9. Pradeep Awasthi: Personal secretary to former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia.

 10. Sanjay Kachroo: A corporate executive who was chosen by then human resource development minister Smriti Irani as her officer on special duty in 2014, but was never formally appointed. Listed along with his father and minor son.

L: Narendra Modi and Ashwini Vaishnaw. R: Prahlad Singh Patel and Narendra Modi. Photos: PTI/PIB

11. G. Parameshwara: Deputy chief minister in the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka, which was toppled after several MLAs defected to the BJP.

12: Satish: Personal secretary to H.D. Kumaraswamy, who was chief minister of Karnataka.

13. Venkatesh: Personal secretary to Siddaramaiah, who was the Congress chief minister of Karnataka before Kumaraswamy.

14. Manjunath Muddegowda: Security personnel of former prime minister and JD(S) president H.D. Devegowda.

  

Illustration: The Wire

Constitutional authority

1. Ashok Lavasa: A career bureaucrat, he was a potential target of surveillance when he was an election commissioner.


Activists, lawyers and academicians

1. Hany Babu M.T.: Professor at Delhi University who is an accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

2. Rona Wilson: A prisoners’ rights activist who is another accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

3. Vernon Gonsalves: A rights activist. He is also accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

4. Anand Teltumbde: An academic and civil liberties activist who is accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

5. Shoma Sen: Retired professor and one of the accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

 Gautam Navlakha: A journalist and rights activist who is accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

7. Arun Ferreira: A lawyer who is also accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

8. Sudha Bhardwaj: Activist and lawyer and accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

9. Pavana: The daughter of Telugu poet Varavara Rao, who is accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

10. Minal Gadling: The wife of lawyer Surendra Gadling, who is accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

11. Nihalsing Rathod: A lawyer and associate of Surendra Gadling.

12. Jagadish Meshram: Another lawyer who is associated with Surendra Gadling.

13. Maruti Kurwatkar: An accused in several cases under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. He was represented by Surendra Gadling.

14. Shalini Gera: A lawyer who has represented Sudha Bharadwaj.

15. Ankit Grewal: A close legal associate of Sudha Bharadwaj.

16. Jaison Cooper: Kerala-based rights activist who is a friend of Anand Teltumbde.

17. Rupali Jadhav: A member of cultural troupe Kabir Kala Manch.

18. Lalsu Nagoti: A lawyer who is a close associate of Mahesh Raut, who is accused in the Elgar Parishad case.

19. Soni Sori: Tribal rights activist who is based in Bastar.

20. Lingaram Kodopi: A journalist and the nephew of Soni Sori.

21. Degree Prasad Chouhan: An anti-caste activist who is the Chhattisgarh state president of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties.

 Rakesh Ranjan: An assistant professor at the Sri Ram College of Commerce.


23. Ashok Bharti: Chairman of the All India Ambedkar Mahasabha, an umbrella association of Dalit rights’ groups.

24. Umar Khalid: Former student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). He was first arrested on sedition charges during the infamous JNU sloganeering case. He is now in jail, awaiting trial as an accused in the Delhi riots conspiracy case.

25. Anirban Bhattacharya: Another former JNU student who was arrested along with Khalid on sedition charges.

26. Banjyotsna Lahiri: Also a JNU student.

27. Bela Bhatia: A lawyer and human rights activist based in Chhattisgarh.

28. Shiv Gopal Mishra: A railway union leader.

29. Anjani Kumar: Delhi-based labour rights activist.

30. Alok Shukla: An anti-coal mining activist and convenor of the Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan.

31. Saroj Giri: A Delhi University professor.

32. Shubhranshu Choudhary: A Bastar-based peace activist.

33. Sandeep Kumar Rai: Former BBC journalist and trade union activist.

34. Khalid Khan: A colleague of Sandeep Kumar Rai.

35. Ipsa Shatakshi: A Jharkhand-based activist. 

37. S.A.R. Geelani: Delhi University professor who was convicted and later acquitted in the parliament bombing case. His phone was forensically analysed and showed signs of an infection by Pegasus.

38. G. Haragopal: A retired professor who taught at the University of Hyderabad. He was chairman of Saibaba Defence Committee. Three of his phones were forensically analysed and the results were inconclusive.

39. Vasantha Kumari: The wife of former Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba, who was convicted for links with a banned Maoist organisation.

40. Rakesh Ranjan: An assistant professor at Delhi University. He was a supporter of the Saibaba Defence Committee.

41. Jagdeep Chhokar: Co-founder of the watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms.

 

Civilians

1. A former Supreme Court staffer: The woman had accused then chief justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment. Several members of her family were also potential targets for surveillance.


Figures from the Northeast

1. Samujjal Bhattacharjee: An advisor to the All Assam Students Union and member of the high level committee to look into the implementation of Clause Six of the Assam Accord.

2. Anup Chetia: A leader of the United Liberation Front of Assam.

3. Malem Ningthouja: A Delhi-based writer who is from Manipur.


Naga leaders

1. Atem Vashum: A leader of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-Isak Muivah) who is assumed to be the successor to the group’s chairman Th. Muivah.

2. Apam Muivah: Another NSCN (I-M) leader who is Th. Muivah’s newphew.

3. Anthony Shimray: The commander in chief of the Naga Army of NSCN (I-M).

4. Phunthing Shimrang: The former commander in chief of the NSCN (I-M)’s Naga Army.

5. Kitovi Zhimomi: Convenor of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs). The Narendra Modi government was in parleys with the groups to find ‘one solution’ to the Naga issue.


Samujjal Bhattacharjee and Anup Chetia. In the background is an

 anti-CAA protest in Assam. Illustration: The Wire

Scientists or those involved in the health sector

1. Gagandeep Kang: One of India’s foremost virologists who was involved in the fight against the Nipah virus.


2. Hari Menon: The Indian head of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

CBI officers and individuals linked to them

1. Alok Verma: Former chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation, Verma was added to the list soon after he was ousted by the Modi government. The personal telephone numbers of his wife, daughter and son-in-law would eventually get placed on the list too, making it a total of 8 numbers from this one family.

2. Rakesh Asthana: Asthana, then a senior CBI officer, was added to the list the same time as Verma. He is seen to be close to the Modi dispensation and currently heads the BSF.

3. A.K. Sharma: Another senior CBI official, added to the list at the same time as Asthana and Verma.


Businesspersons

1. Anil Ambani: Reliance ADAG chairman. The phone numbers that have been used by Anil Ambani were added to the list in 2018, when controversy over the Rafale deal had intensified.

2. Tony Jesudasan: Corporate communications chief at ADAG. His number was added at the same time as Ambani’s. A number used by Jesudasan’s wife is also on the list.

3. Venkata Rao Posina: Dassault Aviation’s representative in India.

4. Inderjit Sial: Former Saab India head.

5. Pratyush Kumar: Boeing India boss.

6. Harmanjit Nagi: Head of the French energy firm EDF.


Tibetan officials, activists, clerics in India

1. Tempa Tsering: Dalai Lama’s long-term envoy in New Delhi.

2. Tenzin Taklha: Senior aide of the Dalai Lama’s.

3. Chimmey Rigzen: Senior aide of the Dalai Lama’s.

4. Lobsang Sangay: Former head of the Tibetan government in exile.

Kashmiri figures

1. Bilal Lone: A separatist leader and brother of Peoples Conference leader Sajad Lone. His phone was forensically examined. Even though the device he was using is not the same as the one he used when he was potentially targeted as per the leaked database, forensic analysis revealed signs of Pegasus spyware.

2. Tariq Bukhari: Brother of Apni Party leader Altaf Bukhari. He is a businessman and political leader who was questioned by the NIA in April 2019 for a ‘terror funding’ case.

3. Syed Naseem Geelani: A scientist who is the son of prominent separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

4. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq: A separatist leader and head of the Hurriyat Conference, he is the chief cleric of the Jama Masjid.

5. Waqar Bhatti: Prominent human rights activist.

6. Zaffar Akbar Bhat: An influential Shia cleric who is associated with the Hurriyat and a prominent separatist leader.


National security figures

1. K.K. Sharma: He was the head of the Border Security Force (BSF) when he was selected as a potential target of surveillance.

2. Jagdish Maithani: BSF inspector general who was integral to the Union home ministry’s comprehensive integrated border management system (CIBMS) or smart fencing project.

3. Jitendra Kumar Ojha: An senior official from the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). He was selected as a potential target of surveillance after he was eased out of service in January 2018 and moved the Central Administrative Tribunal against this decision.

4. Colonel Mukul Dev: An army officer who took on the government order that scrapped free rations for officers who are posted in peace areas.

5. Colonel Amit Kumar: Another army officer who filed a petition in the Supreme Court on behalf of 356 Army personnel against what they apprehended was an impending dilution of the Armed Forces (Special Forces) Act (AFSPA).


Bureaucrats, officials from investigating agencies

1. Rajeshwar Singh: Senior Enforcement Directorate officer who led several high-profile investigations conducted by his agency. His wife and both his sisters were also potential targets of surveillance.

2. Abha Singh: Rajeshwar Singh’s sister, who is a lawyer in Mumbai. Her mobile phone was forensically analysed but the results proved inconclusive.

3. V.K. Jain: A former Indian Administrative Service officer who worked as a personal assistant to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.


Bihar cricket official

1. Rakesh Tiwary: The current chief of the Bihar Cricket Association.


Businesspersons, PSU bureaucrats and lobbyists

1. Naresh Goyal: Former boss of Jet Airways who has run into legal troubles.

2. Ajay Singh: SpiceJet chairman and managing directo.

3. Prashant Ruia: Director of Essar Group.

4. Vikram Kothari: Associated with Rotomac Pens, a group that was investigated for loan fraud.

5. Rahul Kothari: Vikram Kothari’s son.

6. C. Sivasankaran: Former Aircel promoter and maverick entrepreneur, who was also under investigation.

7. B.C. Tripathi: The former head of the state-run GAIL India. He joined Essar in January 2020 as non-executive chairman.

8. V. Balasubramanian: A long-time lobbyist associated with Reliance Industries.

9. A.N. Sethuraman: A lobbyist associated with the Reliance ADA Group.


World leaders

1. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador: He is now the president of Mexico, but was targeted before his election in 2018. Several of his aides were also targeted.


2. Emmanuel Macron: The president of France.


3. Imran Khan: The prime minister of Pakistan.

4. Mostafa Madbouly: The prime minister of Egypt.

5. Saad-Eddine El Othmani: The prime minister of Morocco.

6. Barham Salih: The president of Iraq.

7. Cyril Ramaphosa: The president of South Africa.

8. Mohammed VI: Morocco’s king.

9. Saad Hariri: Former prime minister of Lebanon.

10: Ruhakana Rugunda: Former prime minister of Uganda.

11. Noureddine Bedoui: Former prime minister of Algeria.

12. Charles Michel: Former prime minister of Belgium who is currently the president of the European Council.

13. Panah Huseynov: Former prime minister of Azerbaijan.

14. Felipe Calderon: Former Mexican president.


Emmanuel Macron. Illustration: The Wire

People linked to Jamal Khashoggi

Jamal Khashoggi was a Saudi dissident who wrote for the Washington Post. He was murdered in the Saudi embassy in Turkey by assassins who were allegedly sent by the Saudi government. Several people who were associated with him or the investigation into his deaths were targets or potential targets for surveillance.

1. Hatice Cengiz: A Turkish doctorate student who was engaged to Jamal Khashoggi. Her phone was analysed forensically.

2. Hanan Elatr: She was married to Khashoggi. Her phone was also forensically analysed.

3. Wadah Khanfar: The former director general of Al Jazeera television network. His phone was forensically analysed.

4. Turan Kislakci: A Turkish journalist who introduced Khashoggi to Cengiz.

5. Irfan Fidan: The Turkish chief prosecutor in charge of investigations into Khashoggi’s murder.


Individuals linked to Dubai ruler

1. Sheikha Latifa: A member of the Dubai royal family and the daughter of UAE’s prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. When she attempted to flee her father’s custody, she was captured by Indian forces near Goa and sent back to Dubai.

2. Haya bint Hussein: Estranged wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.


The Pegasus Project is a collaborative investigation that involves more than 80 journalists from 17 news organisations in 10 countries coordinated by Forbidden Stories with the technical support of Amnesty International’s Security Lab. Read all our coverage here 

SOURCE ; THE WIRE


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Monday, 26 July 2021

Union Govt Sitting Idle': Mamata Banerjee Announces WB Govt's Inquiry Panel Into Pegasus Row

 The commission will be headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice Madan B. Lokur and former Calcutta high court judge, Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya.

'Union Govt Sitting Idle': Mamata Banerjee Announces WB Govt's Inquiry Panel Into Pegasus Row  


Mamata Banerjee holds up her taped phone in an earlier press conference. Photo: YouTube screengrab

 

New Delhi: Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, whose nephew MP Abhishek Banerjee was in a list of possibly surveilled politicians, announced on Monday, July 26, that the West Bengal government has formed an inquiry commission to look into the Pegasus snooping row.

Bengal is the first government in India to do so.

The Trinamool Congress, which Banerjee heads, had been demanding a judicial inquiry ever since a global media consortium, including The Wire, broke the news of the Pegasus software possibly or successfully being used to snoop on journalists, politicians, activists, government employees and students.

“We wanted the Centre to form a commission to look into Pegasus snooping, but the Union government is sitting idle,” Banerjee said. She is scheduled to visit New Delhi to call on several opposition leaders, including Congress’s Sonia Gandhi, today.

 We are the first state which has formed a commission on this. I hope others will come forward upon seeing our example. If someone is asleep, we have to wake them up,” she said.

The commission will be headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice Madan B. Lokur and former acting Chief Justice of the Calcutta high court, Justice Jyotirmay Bhattacharya, Banerjee said.

The commission has been formed under the Enquiry Act, 1952, and the decision to set it up was taken at a meeting of the council of ministers, the chief minister said, speaking from the state secretariat.

In India, The Wire has reported on how a leaked database of telephone numbers selected by an unknown client of the Israeli NSO Group, contained the numbers of key members of the political opposition in India, including Abhishek Banerjee, who is the general secretary of the TMC. Among those successfully snooped with the use of the spyware was TMC’s consultant for the 2021 assembly election, Prashant Kishor.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Nandigram, Suvendu Adhikari, reportedly claimed at a rally in East Medinipur district that he has “call records of everyone who makes calls from the nephew’s office.”

In addition to press conferences, TMC leaders have publicly vowed to keep the Pegasus issue alive in the parliament and have been protesting in both Houses.

On Sunday, July 25, a tweet by the Congress underlining that TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee was “targeted” by the spyware ahead of Bengal assembly polls was welcomed by the TMC.

TMC Rajya Sabha parliamentary party leader Derek O’Brien has retweeted the post on Abhishek, who is also the party’s all-India general secretary.

 

 

 

 Congress Rajya Sabha MP Pradip Bhattacharya claimed that everyone wants an alternative political force that can take on the BJP.

 

(With PTI inputs)

The Pegasus Project is a collaborative investigation that involves more than 80 journalists from 17 news organisations in 10 countries coordinated by Forbidden Stories with the technical support of Amnesty International’s Security Lab. Read all our coverage here.

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Sunday, 25 July 2021

Watch | Pakistan NSA: Door Could Still Be Open For Dialogue; Secret Meetings Led to Ceasefire

 In an interview to Karan Thapar, Moeed Yusuf confirmed that Indian and Pakistani “intelligence meetings” happened in the run-up to the February re-confirmation of the 2003 ceasefire.

Watch | Pakistan NSA: Door Could Still Be Open For Dialogue; Secret Meetings Led to Ceasefire 

 Moeed Yusuf, Imran Khan, Narendra Modi and Ajit Doval. Illustration: The Wire

 

In an interview where he often says things that seem contradictory or at variance with earlier statements, Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Mooed Yusuf has at least two or three times said that the window of hope and expectation in India-Pakistan relations, that opened in February with the reconfirmation of the 2003 ceasefire, “is perhaps still there”, provided India is willing to create a conducive environment.

Mooed Yusuf said this in an interview where he also claimed that Pakistan has “concrete evidence and intelligence” connecting the recent Lahore bomb blast outside Hafiz Saeed’s residence to “handlers and masterminds in India”, which Pakistan will make public in a dossier “at the right time.”

The 75-minute interview with Karan Thapar for The Wire starts by exploring how and why, in six months from February to June-July this year, India-Pakistan relations have swung from hope and expectation, when the 2003 ceasefire was re-affirmed in February, to mutual accusations of terror in June and July. The last 15 minutes are on the developing situation in Afghanistan and whether Pakistan will recognise a Taliban government formed after a military take over of the country. Yusuf says Pakistan “will do what the rest of the world does”. Asked if Pakistan would welcome a Taliban government, he initially says “no” but then adds it has “no favourites” and it’s for the Afghan people to choose their government.


 

In The Wire interview, Yusuf confirmed that Indian and Pakistani “intelligence meetings” happened in the run-up to the February re-confirmation of the 2003 ceasefire, but he would not say whether “they” happened in Dubai as some reports claim. He called the meeting contacts and not a back-channel. He also suggested there could have been more than one meeting and in more than one form, i.e. physical or virtual. He refused to say who was there from the Indian side “because if I was to be brutally honest it would reveal who calls the shots in India”. Nor would he confirm if the ISI chief represented Pakistan. However, Yusuf denied he had met his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval although he seemed to twice evade an answer when asked if Doval had met General Qamar Bajwa, the Pakistan Chief of Army Staff.

Yusuf told The Wire “there was a contact made” by the Indian side. He said Pakistan reciprocated and asked what is India willing to do and if India is sincere Pakistan is also willing to move forward.
Asked by The Wire about reports suggesting third parties like the UAE and Saudi Arabia had played a role in bringing about the reconfirmation of the ceasefire, Dr Yusuf seemed to confirm them when he said, “I have a sense pressure was put on India.” However, he refused to name any country or even comment on the public admission by the UAE’s ambassador to the US that his country had played a role. Yusuf said whilst Pakistan had no problem with third party involvement, it was for India to reveal further details.

Yusuf accepted as true newspaper reports (such as in Dawn) that said Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Bajwa had told Pakistani journalists at an iftaar gathering in late April “the two sides had agreed that rather than ‘Kashmir first’ or ‘terrorism first’ all issues should be addressed at the same time.” Gen Bajwa also said Pakistan considered reinstatement of Article 370 a non-issue because Pakistan has never recognised this article of the Indian constitution. General Bajwa said Pakistan’s concerns were with statehood and the demographic identity of Jammu and Kashmir. Yusuf confirmed that when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and General Bajwa spoke about India creating a conducive environment, this is what they had in mind.

In The Wire interview, Dr Yusuf said Pakistan had two core concerns. First, Kashmir. The second is terrorism. He made a point of saying it is a wrong narrative to claim terrorism is India’s concern. He called it Pakistan’s “core concern”.

In the interview, Yusuf claims Pakistan has the identity and phone numbers of the mastermind and handlers of the recent Lahore bomb blast and claims they are in India. But he refused to give further details. He said they will be made public “at the right time.”

However, despite this, Yusuf repeatedly suggested the window of hope and expectation that opened in February was not completely closed. First, whilst discussing the trade setback in April, when Pakistan thought of but did not buy cotton and sugar from India, he said he didn’t know “whether things unravelled” because of this. Then, whilst giving details of India’s alleged role in the Lahore blast, he said “perhaps it (the window) is still there if India is prepared to do the fair thing by Kashmiris”.

Right at the end of the interview, when asked specifically if the window for dialogue is open or closed, Yusuf said” “my honest wish and hope is that it is open” adding “India has to create an enabling environment” and “when it does it will find Pakistan willing”.

Yet at the same time, Yusuf also voiced what he called fundamental concerns about the sort of country India has become or is becoming. He said: “We are struggling to understand whether this is a country you can have a rational conversation with.” However, he did add, “I want to be proven wrong”.

 

The 75-minute interview also has an extensive section on Afghanistan. This section covers questions about whether Pakistan welcomes a Taliban government, will recognise one that comes to power after a military takeover, accusations by the Afghan president and vice-president that Pakistan is militarily helping the Taliban and the claim made by PM Khan that if the Taliban militarily takes over Afghanistan, Pakistan will seal the border. This section also includes questions about whether Pakistan can ensure a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan does not become a sanctuary for terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Al Qaida and ISIS. Finally, it includes a question about whether Pakistan foreign minister S.M. Qureshi’s claim that India’s involvement in Afghanistan is “larger than it ought to be” means Pakistan will urge a future Taliban government to reduce or eliminate India’s presence diplomatically and economically. Please see the interview for Yusuf’s answers.

The above is a paraphrased precis of Mooed Yusuf’s 75-minute interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire. Though recounted from memory, it is not inaccurate. However, there is a lot more in the interview than this precis has touched upon. This is particularly true of the section on India-Pakistan relations from February to July this year. Please see the complete interview to get a fuller picture of this part of the discussion.

source   the wire

 

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Thursday, 22 July 2021

Modi accused of ‘treason’ as Pegasus spyware row rocks India

 

The disclosures revealed Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi among hundreds of other citizens selected for possible surveillance by the Modi government.

Earlier this week, a major investigation by a global consortium of media outlets into a data leak of more than 50,000 numbers revealed the NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware was used to hack journalists, government officials and human rights activists around the world.

The list was dominated by numbers from ten countries: Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The leaked data was first accessed by French media non-profit Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International’s Security Lab, which shared them with seventeen media organisations from ten countries.

With more details being revealed by the day, where the spying operation seems to have been at its most extensive – as of now at least – is India.

Indian news portal The Wire revealed that hundreds of verified Indian phone numbers were targeted between 2017-2019, including two belonging to India’s opposition leader, Rahul Gandhi.

Gandhi was identified for surveillance in 2019, alongside other figures during the lead up to India's general elections in May 2019.

Writing in a column for The Hindu today, Pranesh Prakash called the revelations “India’s Watergate moment”.

Additionally, the Guardian reported today that Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was also enlisted as a person of interest by India in 2019.

Who was targeted?

Reportedly 300 verified mobile phone numbers were identified apart from Rahul Gandhi, including those of ministers and government officials, journalists, judiciary members (including a sitting Supreme Court Judge), rights activists, businessmen and scientists.

The Wire confirmed that Pegasus spyware was found in the smartphone of poll strategist Prashant Kishore, after being forensically examined by Amnesty's Security Lab.

Security Lab’s report showed that unsuccessful attempts were made to initiate a Pegasus attack on Kishor’s phone months prior to the 2019 elections.

Ashok Lavasa, the only member of the Election Commission who ruled that Modi had violated the Model Code of Conduct during the 2019 elections, was another target.

Records also found Jagdeep Chhokhar, the head of a key election watchdog Association for Democratic Reforms, was enlisted around the same time as Lavasa.

At least 40 Indian journalists were listed as targets between 2017-2019, including from The Wire and other major news outlets.

Several prominent activists, including now-jailed Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student leader Umar Khalid and an anti-caste leader Ashok Bharti, were also part of the database.

 Members of the Indian Youth Congress staged a protest against the Modi government following media reports on the use of Pegasus software to snoop on prominent personalities in the country, near Parliament on July 20, 2021 in New Delhi, India. Indian news outlet The Wire revealed that phone numbers of over 300 citizens, including 40 journalists, were allegedly snooped using the Israeli spyware Pegasus. 

 Members of the Indian Youth Congress staged a protest against the Modi government following media reports on the use of Pegasus software to snoop on prominent personalities in the country, near Parliament on July 20, 2021 in New Delhi, India. Indian news outlet The Wire revealed that phone numbers of over 300 citizens, including 40 journalists, were allegedly snooped using the Israeli spyware Pegasus. (Mohd Zakir / Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

A number of BJP members as well as media figures not known to be critical of the government were targeted too.

Newly inducted BJP minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who dismissed the reports as nothing “but an attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions,” was found hours later to also be a potential target in 2017. As was government union minister Prahlad Patel.

At the foreign level, aside from the Pakistani PM, names included ambassadors to India from Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal and Saudi Arabia.

Indian political reaction

Following the series of revelations, Narendra Modi’s government was accused by the opposition Congress Party of treason and being the “deployer and executor” of a “spying racket”.

“This is clearly treason and total abdication of national security by the Modi government, more so when the foreign company could possibly have access to this data,” Congress said in a statement.

“This is an unforgivable sacrilege and negation of constitutional oath by the home minister and the prime minister,” it added.

Amid slogans being hurled against the Indian prime minister’s government during Tuesday’s parliamentary session, opposition members demanded an independent probe into the snooping claims and the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah.

In a statement, Shah insisted that the aim of the revelations was to “do whatever is possible to humiliate India at the world stage, peddle the same old narratives about our nation and derail India’s development trajectory”.

“This is a report by the disrupters for the obstructers,” he claimed.

However, Shah nor other BJP members have directly responded to the claims of whether India used Pegasus spyware to surveil its own citizens. And while the government has not categorically denied spying on individuals, it said that “allegations regarding government surveillance on specific people has no concrete basis or truth associated with it whatsoever”.

NSO says its Pegasus spyware – classified as military grade surveillance technology and exported only with approval from the Israeli defence ministry – is sold to “vetted governments”.

Until now, the Modi government has refused to declare whether or not it is an NSO client.

However, researchers at Citizen Lab, the University of Toronto’s cyber-security group that has extensively studied Pegasus, have concluded that India is one of the company’s clients.

Meanwhile, according to the Guardian, “the selection of Indian numbers largely commenced around the time of Modi’s 2017 trip to Israel, the first visit to the country by an Indian prime minister and a marker of the burgeoning relationship between the two states, including billions of dollars in deals between Delhi and Israeli defence industries”.

 

Arber UA  

 

Why it matters

The revelations have major implications on surveillance and privacy in the world’s largest democracy.

Priyanka Gandhi, Rahul’s sister and general secretary of Congress, labelled the Pegasus leaks an “affront to democracy”.

“If true, the Modi government seems to have launched a grave and sinister attack on the right to privacy – constitutionally guaranteed to Indian citizens as a Fundamental Right,” she said on Twitter.

Indian tech news platform Medianama said: “While India has long been suspected of being a Pegasus buyer, the scale and nature of the surveillance it allegedly has embarked upon, and the targets it seems to have picked, don’t appear to indicate national security concerns of organised crime dealings – for which surveillance is usually sanctioned.”

Given the ongoing assault on media freedom and steady curbing of dissent that has occurred under Modi’s tenure since 2014, that his government could be implicated in what essentially amounts to political espionage, adds to yet another scandal that is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

Source: TRT World 


Mackeeper Many GEOs  

 

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Sunday, 18 July 2021

Monsoon Session of Parliament starts from tomorrow with COVID protocol in place

 parliament 

The Monsoon session of Parliament is all set to commence from tomorrow, i.e. July 19. The Monsoon Session of Parliament is scheduled to be held between July 19, 2021, and August 13, 2021. There will be a total of 19 sittings. Parliament will meet from 11 am to 6 pm.

Over 400 MPs and more than 200 staff have already been vaccinated ahead of the session. The monsoon session will be held by following Covid protocols which include maintaining social distancing, though both houses will sit simultaneously.

Currently, 38 Bills are pending in Parliament. Of these, nine Bills are listed for consideration and passing. 17 Bills are listed for introduction, consideration, and passing.

The Bills listed for consideration and passing are mentioned below:

The DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019

 

The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019

The Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020

 

The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2020

The Tribunal Reforms (Rationalisation and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2021

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021

 

The National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2021

The Marine Aids to Navigation Bill, 2021

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021

 

The Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2021

The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021

The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021

 

The Essential Defence Service Bill, 2021– Replaces an Ordinance

The Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants, and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2021

The Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2021

 

The Indian Institute of Forest Management Bill, 2021

The Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas Bill, 2021 – Replaces an Ordinance

The Cantonment Bill, 2021

The Indian Antarctica Bill, 2021

The Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Amendment Bill, 2021

The Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021

The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection, and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021

The Inland Vessels Bill, 2021

The Indian Marine Fisheries Bill, 2021

The Petroleum and Minerals Pipelines (Amendment) Bill, 2021

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Saturday, 17 July 2021

दिल्ली सरकार के वकील ही लड़ेंगे किसान आंदोलन का केस, एलजी के पैनल को किया खारिज

  

दिल्ली में एक बार फिर से उपराज्यपाल व चुनी सरकार आमने-सामने हैं। मसला किसानों आंदोलन से जुड़े केस की सुनवाई के लिए वकीलों के पैनल के गठन करने की है। उपराज्यपाल के इनकार के बाद शुक्रवार को दिल्ली सरकार ने कैबिनेट बैठक बुलाई जिसमें उपराज्यपाल के प्रस्ताव को अस्वीकार कर दिया गया है। सीएम केजरीवाल का कहना है कि अब किसान आंदोलन का केस दिल्ली सराकार के वकील ही लड़ेंगे।

रअसल गुरुवार को उपराज्यपाल अनिल बैजल ने दिल्ली सरकार की तरफ से गठित पैनल को खारिज कर दिया था। इसकी जगह दिल्ली पुलिस की ओर से सुझाए गए वकीलों के पैनल पर कैबिनेट की मुहर लगाने पर फैसला लेने को कहा है। मुख्यमंत्री अरविंद केजरीवाल ने इस बारे में शुक्रवार को कैबिनेट की बैठक बुलाई थी जिसमें उपराज्यपाल के प्रस्ताव को खारिज कर दिया गया।

इससे पहले तीनों कृषि कानूनों के खिलाफ आंदोलन कर रहे किसानों पर दर्ज केस की सुनवाई के लिए केजरीवाल सरकार ने वकीलों का पैनल बनाया था। वहीं, दर्ज मामलों की जांच कर रही दिल्ली पुलिस अपने वकीलों के पैनल की नियुक्त की। लेकिन दिल्ली के गृहमंत्री सत्येंद्र जैन ने दिल्ली पुलिस के प्रस्ताव को खारिज कर दिया था। इसके बाद सरकारी वकीलों का पैनल बनाकर दिल्ली के गृह मंत्री ने प्रस्ताव उप राज्यपाल के पास भेजा था।

आधिकारिक सूत्रों का कहना है कि उपराज्यपाल ने दिल्ली सरकार के पैनल को मंजूरी नहीं दी है। इसकी जगह उपराज्यपाल ने दिल्ली सरकार को कहा है कि दिल्ली पुलिस के वकीलों के पैनल को कैबिनेट मंजूरी दे।

दिल्ली सरकार के वकीलों की हो चुकी तारीफ
एक वरिष्ठ अधिकारी ने बताया कि दिल्ली के उपराज्यपाल और दिल्ली के गृहमंत्री के बीच बीते दिनों एक वर्चुअल बैठक हुई थी। इसमें उपराज्यपाल यह स्वीकारा था कि दिल्ली सरकार द्वारा नियुक्त किए गए पब्लिक प्रॉसिक्यूटर बहुत अच्छा काम कर रहे हैं और बहुत काबिल हैं। दिल्ली सरकार के वकील अच्छे से केस लड़ रहे हैं। दिल्ली सरकार के वकीलों के खिलाफ कोई शिकायत नहीं है।

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सोशल मीडिया बोल्ड है।

 सोशल मीडिया युवा है।

 सोशल मीडिया पर उठे सवाल सोशल मीडिया एक जवाब से संतुष्ट नहीं है।

 सोशल मीडिया में दिखती है ,

बड़ी तस्वीर सोशल मीडिया हर विवरण में रुचि रखता है।

 सोशल मीडिया उत्सुक है।

 सोशल मीडिया स्वतंत्र है। 

 सोशल मीडिया अपूरणीय है। 

लेकिन कभी अप्रासंगिक नहीं। सोशल मीडिया आप हैं।

 (समाचार एजेंसी भाषा से इनपुट के साथ)

 अगर आपको यह कहानी पसंद आई तो इसे एक दोस्त के साथ साझा करें! 

हम एक गैर- लाभकारी संगठन हैं। हमारी पत्रकारिता को सरकार और कॉरपोरेट दबाव से मुक्त रखने के लिए आर्थिक मदद करें !