Pegasus: Amit Shah questions the timing of the leak
Union home minister Amit Shah, under attack from the Opposition on Monday over an explosive report on the alleged phone-tapping of prominent personalities in the country using Israeli spyware Pegasus, called it “a report by the disrupters for the obstructers”.
He questioned the timing of the leak and said it was done to create disruptions on the first day of the monsoon session of Parliament. Shah also used his much controversial phrase “Aap chronology samjhiye” to counter criticism of the government over the Pegasus reports.
“People have often associated this phrase with me in the lighter vein, but today I want to seriously say — the timing of the selective leaks, the disruptions… Aap chronology samjhiye! This is a report by the disrupters for the obstructers,” he said in a statement.
“Disrupters are global organisations which do not like India to progress. Obstructers are political players in India who do not want India to progress. People of India are very good at understanding this chronology and connection,” he added.
An international media consortium had on Sunday reported that more than 300 verified mobile phone numbers, including that of two serving ministers, over 40 journalists, three Opposition leaders and one sitting judge besides scores of businessmen and activists in India, could have been targeted for hacking through an Israeli spyware sold only to government agencies.
The Wire, a digital news platform, on Monday reported that senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, election strategist Prashant Kishor, former election commissioner Ashok Lavasa, ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw and Prahlad Patel, TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee and the entire family of a Supreme Court staffer who had accused the then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment in 2019 were among those whose phones were either breached or were listed as potential targets by Israeli company NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware.
Without naming Pegasus, the home minister said: “The facts and sequence of events are for the entire nation to see. Today the monsoon session of Parliament has started. In what seemed like a perfect cue, late last evening we saw a report, which has been amplified by a few sections with only one aim — to do whatever is possible and humiliate India at the world stage, peddle the same old narratives about our nation and derail India’s development trajectory.”
Shah also slammed the Congress for the uproar in Parliament on Monday and accused the party of “trying to derail anything progressive that comes up in Parliament”.
“Just a few days ago the council of ministers was expanded with great emphasis given to women, SC, ST and OBC members. But there are forces unable to digest this. They also want to derail national progress. This merits the question — to whose tune are these people dancing, who want to keep showing India in poor light? What pleasure do they get to show India in bad light time and again?” Shah said.