A day after reports of a US court allowing spy agency NSA to carry out surveillance on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the government on Wednesday summoned top American diplomat over the issue.
India termed the move to spy on the BJP as unacceptable and sought an assurance that it would not happen again.
However, officials did not say who was the US diplomat summoned by the External Affairs Ministry.
Significantly, the US currently has an interim ambassador Kathleen Stephens who came in after former US Ambassador Nancy Powell resigned from her post.
India also noted that it had raised the issue with the US administration in Washington and the Embassy here in July and November last year when reports emerged that NSA had spied upon individuals and entities and said it was still “awaiting a response from American on this”.
India had reacted sharply when the reports of snooping by NSA came to light after revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in 2013.
America’s top spy agency was authorised by a US court in 2010 to carry out surveillance on the BJP along with five other political organisations across the globe, including Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Pakistan Peoples Party, according to a classified document.
BJP figured in the list of foreign political parties along with Lebanon’s Amal, the Bolivarian Continental Coordinator of Venezuela, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptian National Salvation Front and the Pakistan Peoples Party for whom the National Security Agency (NSA) had sought permission to carry out surveillance, said the document made public by The Washington Post on Monday.
The document listed 193 foreign governments as well as foreign factions and other entities that were part of a 2010 certification approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The list includes India.
(With PTI Inputs)