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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Pegasus snooping: MHA asks Karnataka government to probe Siddaramaiah’s complaint

Siddaramaiah alleged the Pegasus spyware was illegally used to spy on his personal assistant M Venkatesh.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: November 8, 2021 12:08:39 pm
Siddaramaiah alleged the Pegasus spyware was illegally used to spy on his personal assistant M Venkatesh.

The Union ministry of Home Affairs asked the Karnataka government to investigate a complaint made by former Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah that he was spied on with the Pegasus spyware.

The leader of Opposition in Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, petitioned the Union government through the President’s secretariat with a July 22, 2021 letter saying he had been a target of “illegal spying and surveillance” with the controversial Pegasus spyware.

Following the petition, the President’s secretariat referred the matter to the MHA on September 13.

In response to the petition, MHA has now referred the matter to the Karnataka government for action.

“Since police and public order are state subjects under the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India, it is the responsibility of the concerned state government to prevent, detect, register crime and prosecute the criminals involved through the machinery of its law enforcement agencies and hence you may take action on the representation, as deemed appropriate,” the MHA has said in a letter of October 25 to the state chief secretary.

Siddaramaiah alleged the Pegasus spyware was illegally used to spy on his personal assistant M Venkatesh. The allegation was made after an international consortium of journalists revealed that the spyware was used to spy on people around the world.

The journalists’ consortium revealed that ahead of the fall of a Congress-JDS government in Karnataka in 2019, the phones of key aides of top Karnataka political leaders like Siddaramaiah, the then JDS Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and Congress deputy CM G Parameshwara may have been targeted for spying using the Pegasus spyware sold by the Israeli firm NSO.

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