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Wives on phone-tap list too

Shimla, Feb. 21: Investigations have revealed that the telephones of the wives of politicians and bureaucrats were also tapped during the time of the P.K. Dhumal government in Himachal Pradesh.

Sources in the government said the panel probing the phone-tapping charges was stunned when it realised that some of the numbers that had been under surveillance were owned by the wives and relatives of bureaucrats, rival politicians and trade union leaders.

“There are conversations between couples, relatives and family members and most of them are of personal nature. More than 75 such conversations have been found during the investigation. This is how the privacy of the individuals was infringed upon. It seems that the police officers had put the entire telephone exchange or network under observation,” a source said.

Sources claimed even the phones of Dhumal and his son Anurag Thakur were tapped.

Some of the bureaucrats whose wives’ phones were tapped reportedly met current chief minister Virbhadra Singh recently to discuss the situation. The bureaucrats switched to the mobile phones of their wives when they started suspecting that their own phones were being tapped.

The officers reportedly told the chief minister that they had remained silent then as they feared action.