Cong MPs write to Shinde, seek probe into Modi snoopgate case
In a move designed to push Narendra Modi on to the backfoot, several Congress MPs have written to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde demanding the setting up of a commission headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to inquire into the case of illegal snooping in Gujarat.
In their letter yesterday, the MPs, including Gurudas Kamath, Narendra Budania, Vijay Darda and Chaudhary Ram Prakash, state that there were reports in newspapers that ministers and officials in Gujarat had engaged in systematic tapping of phones and had also spied upon individuals.
"It has been reported... that the then Gujarat Minister of State for Home misused his powers and the police machinery for illegal surveillance of a young woman in 2009," the letter said.
The allegations assume political significance given that the Gujarat has a government led by Modi, the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate.
In the letter, the MPs mention another alleged case where a conversation involving an IPS officer was taped.
The letter added that it has also been reported in the media that the woman had been followed in and out of Gujarat and the phones of her family members and friends were tapped.
"It is further reported that an illegal network of senior state police officials were drawn into the operation of spying on innocent citizens and an All India Services officer was instructed to spy on another All India services officer," the letter said.
The MPs held that these reports raised matters of definite and urgent importance.
"We request that the government of India immediately appoint a commission under the Commission of Enquiries Act headed by a retired Supreme Court judge for the purpose of making an inquiry into the issue of whether and how constitutional governance has been breached in this case," the letter added.