Congress president Rahul Gandhi Friday fired a fresh salvo at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the recent notification by the Ministry of Home Affairs authorising 10 central agencies to intercept “any information” on computers.
“Converting India into a police state isn’t going to solve your problems, Modi Ji. It’s only going to prove to over 1 billion Indians, what an insecure dictator you really are,” Gandhi wrote on Twitter.
A political row erupted over the Ministry of Home Affairs’ latest notification with opposition parties terming the order as unconstitutional, undemocratic and an assault on fundamental rights.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued an order enabling the Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, Central Board of Direct Taxes, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Bureau of Investigation, National Investigation Agency, Cabinet Secretariat (R&AW), Directorate of Signal Intelligence (For service areas of Jammu & Kashmir, North-East and Assam only) and Commissioner of Police, Delhi to intercept information stored on any computer device.
According to the notification, the subscriber or service provider or any person in charge of the computer resource will be bound to extend all facilities and technical assistance to the agencies and failing to do will invite seven-year imprisonment and fine.
Converting India into a police state isn’t going to solve your problems, Modi Ji.
It’s only going to prove to over 1 billion Indians, what an insecure dictator you really are. https://t.co/KJhvQqwIV7
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 21, 2018
Opposition parties have slammed the government over the notification, accusing the Centre of snooping on citizens, political leaders attacked the Centre and alleged that the country was turning into a surveillance state under the Narendra Modi-led government.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the country has been under “undeclared emergency since 2014”. “India has been under undeclared emergency since May 2014, now in its last couple of months Modi govt is crossing all limits by seeking control of even the citizens computers,” he tweeted. The issue of notification also rocked the Rajya Sabha where Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad alleged that “undeclared Emergency has taken final shape” and “all federal agencies have been let loose”.
India has been under undeclared emergency since May 2014, now in its last couple of months Modi govt is crossing all limits by seeking control of even the citizens computers.
Can such curtailment of fundamental rights be tolerated in world’s largest democracy?
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 21, 2018
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu also slammed the government.
The sweeping powers given to central agencies to snoop phone calls and computers without any checks is extremely dangerous. This step is a direct assault on civil liberties in general and fundamental right to privacy of citizens in particular, guaranteed by Indian constitution.
— N Chandrababu Naidu (@ncbn) December 21, 2018
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today slammed the opposition for “making a mountain where a molehill does not exist.”
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha in response to Congress leader Anand Sharma over the order, Jaitley said: “On 20 December, same order of authorisation was repeated that was existing since 2009. You are making a mountain where a molehill does not exist.”
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