Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh: Panel on Pegasus spyware meets, to summon officers involved in the scandal

Bhumana Karunakar Reddy

Bhumana Karunakar Reddy | Photo Credit:

The House Committee formed by Legislative Assembly Speaker Thammineni Seetharam to probe the alleged purchase of Pegasus spyware and phone tapping with its help during the Telugu Desam Party regime, met under the chairmanship of MLA Bhumana Karunakar Reddy at the Secretariat on Wednesday.

Addressing the media later, Mr. Karunakar Reddy said the gathering of information by the TDP government about political parties and individuals through surreptitious means was anti-democratic and had far-reaching security implications.

He pointed out that the findings of the People’s Pulse Survey was also misused, and expressed resolve to expose the culprits behind the whole conspiracy.

Wednesday’s meeting was only the beginning of the exercise, he said, adding that officers who were involved in the scandal would be summoned next time to explain their actions.

MLAs Karanam Dharmasri, K. Bhagya Lakshmi, Mondithoka Jaganmohan Rao and Maddali Giridhar and senior officials of the Home and Information Technology Departments discussed the manner in which surveillance equipment provided by an Israeli firm were allegedly procured in blatant violation of norms.

The main point on the agenda was the comment purportedly made by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that her government had spurned an offer to buy the spyware but the then government of Andhra Pradesh purchased the equipment.

The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government said it was a serious issue that needed a thorough inquiry as its predecessor had not only bought the equipment, but also used it for dubious purposes, including tapping of the phones of its detractors.

One of the main allegations was that the TDP government had even kept the voters under surveillance by using their personal data in brazen violation of the Indian Telegraph Act, Information Technology Act, etc.

During a short discussion in the Assembly in March this year, when the panel was constituted, Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy insisted that the matter should be taken to the notice of the Supreme Court which set up an expert committee to dig out the facts.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 7:23:56 pm |