Maharashtra government forms committee to probe 'phone tapping' of NCP, Shiv Sena leaders

Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has denied allegations that phones of political leaders were tapped during his government.

Published: 03rd February 2020 05:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th February 2020 11:07 AM   |  A+A-

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray with NCP chief Sharad Pawar

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray with NCP chief Sharad Pawar (File | PTI)

Express News Service

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government on Monday announced the formation of a two-member committee to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into allegations of tapping of phones of Opposition leaders, activists and journalists by the previous BJP-led administration.

“The Home Department has received many complaints from political parties and leaders about the misuse of Phone Tapping by previous governments. This abuse of power violates right to freedom & privacy as enshrined in the Constitution of India and is a National Security Threat,” Maharashtra Home minister Anil Deshmukh tweeted on Monday.

He said they have appointed a two-member committee, headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Shrikant Singh (IAS) and Joint Commissioner of Intelligence Amitesh Kumar (IPS). 

“The committee will conduct the inquiry within six weeks,” the home minister added.

Earlier, Deshmukh had alleged that during the Maharashtra Assembly election, the BJP government had allegedly instructed the police to tap phones of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut among other top leaders.

“These leaders’ phone was also tapped during the formations of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi and the Bhima Koregaon protest as well,” he added.

Congress leader Digvijay Singh had alleged that during the BJP rule, the police had tapped his and other politicians’ phone and had demanded a fair inquiry in the blatant misuse of power.

He said that the digital evidence was used by police to connect the Bhima Koregaon case and arrested social activist, so the probe in phone tapping will unveil the truth.NCP chief Sharad Pawar had demanded setting up a Special Investigation of Team in Bhima Koregaon riot case.

After his declaration, the Centre had asked the NIA to take over the probe.

Probe’s ambit 

The probe will cover not only legal documentation but also take the support of experts to decipher if unofficial surveillance has been carried out by tracing the footprint in the servers of various telecom companies through physical verifications 

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