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Regular-article-logo Tuesday, 21 May 2024

CM: Should I seal my lips with Leukoplast?

This is not the first time Mamata has claimed to be a victim of phone surveillance

Our Special Correspondent Published 02.11.19, 09:11 PM
Mamata Banerjee in Calcutta

Mamata Banerjee in Calcutta FIle Picture

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday accused the Narendra Modi government of tapping her phone and said she was a victim of surveillance, the claims coming in the middle of the snooping controversy allegedly involving Israeli agency NSO’s Pegasus software.

“This is really worrying. My phone is being tapped and

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I can sense that…. Everything is under surveillance. This is not right as this is coming in the way of running the government,” Mamata said in response to questions here.

The allegations followed reports that the WhatsApp numbers of some journalists, lawyers and activists have been breached by Israeli agency NSO and its Pegasus spyware.

Mamata said the Centre was using NSO to watch the activities of politicians, media, judges, IAS and IPS officers, activists and other important figures.

“It is wrong. You cannot encroach on people’s privacy. What kind of freedom is this where we can’t speak freely because we are being recorded?” the chief minister asked.

Speaking to a television channel, she said: “Land phone bhi tap hai! Mobile bhi tap hai! Toh hum kya karega? Leukoplast laga ke baitha rahega? (Landlines are tapped, mobile phones are also tapped. So what should I do, put on Leukoplast and sit?)”

This is not the first time Mamata has claimed to be a victim of phone surveillance. She used to accuse the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee-led Left government of tapping her phone when she was an Opposition leader.

Some Trinamul sources said Mamata spoke out on the issue as she considered the timing right to attack the Modi government as it was on the back-foot after WhatsApp’s disclosure that it had notified the Indian government on the “security issue”.

Mamata, who uses WhatsApp to communicate with close aides, said the Centre was fully aware of the latest breach.

“Nothing is safe now, not even WhatsApp. Earlier, we used to think WhatsApp can’t be intercepted. But now, even WhatsApp has not been spared. I want the Prime Minister to investigate the matter.”

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