To ascertain the authenticity of the letter written by Gujarat woman's father

The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Wednesday ordered a probe to ascertain the authenticity of the letter written to it by Pranlal Soni, father of a Gujarat woman who was allegedly put under illegal surveillance by the Narendra Modi government.

The Commission has also written to the Chief Secretary, asking that the State look into the violation of constitutional rights of privacy and misuse of the state/police machinery in this case.

In the morning, the NCW, having denied receipt of any letter from Mr. Soni till Tuesday night, said: “Someone dropped the letter at the Commission’s office in Delhi and since Mr. Soni did not want a probe, the NCW will not be pursuing the matter.” However, hours later, the Commission changed its view, deciding to contact Mr. Soni to ascertain the authenticity of the letter.”

NCW Chairperson Mamata Sharma said: “Yes, we have got a written communication allegedly signed by Mr. Soni. Somebody came and dropped a sealed envelope containing the letter.”

NCW member Nirmala Samant Prabhavalkar said: “Mr. Soni, till date, has not asked for an interview or meeting with any member of the Commission. This is a big case, and it does not seem right, the manner in which the letter came to the Commission. We have ordered a probe into the matter.”

She said the Commission had taken suo motu cognisance of media reports on the allegations of illegal surveillance long before Mr. Soni allegedly wrote to them.

Earlier in the day, Ms. Sharma said the Commission was “looking at calling off their probe.” “When the father is saying that no wrong has been done and the girl has no opposition to the surveillance, where can we intervene?”

Ms. Sharma said the letter “states Mr. Soni and his daughter were aware of the surveillance and do not want any probe…. Besides an NCW probe, we have approached the Home Ministry to look into the case and to ensure that women are not exploited in the name of surveillance.”