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Govt's silence on Pegasus spyware issue 'acceptance of criminal activity', claims Left parties

According to the report in The New York Times, the Israeli spyware Pegasus and a missile system were the "centrepieces" of a roughly $2-billion deal of sophisticated weapons and intelligence gear between India and Israel in 2017.

January 29, 2022 / 05:28 PM IST
(Illustration by Suneesh K.)

(Illustration by Suneesh K.)

The Left parties on Saturday demanded the government's explanation over a media report claiming India bought the Pegasus spyware from Israel as part of a defence deal in 2017 and said its silence was an "acceptance of criminal activity". According to the report in The New York Times, the Israeli spyware Pegasus and a missile system were the "centrepieces" of a roughly $2-billion deal of sophisticated weapons and intelligence gear between India and Israel in 2017.

In a tweet, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, "The (Narendra) Modi government must explain on affidavit why it bought this cyber weapon, who gave the permission for its usage, how were the targets selected and who got these reports?" "Silence on such a critical issue only means an acceptance of its criminal activity."

ALSO READ: Pegasus and a missile system were centerpieces' of $2 bn deal between India and Israel in 2017: NYT

CPI general secretary D Raja said the government hid the truth on the issue from Parliament and they were now answerable. "Now it is clear that the government was hiding some truths about the Pegasus spyware even from Parliament. Now, they have been exposed.

"Parliament session is close and they will be questioned on this. Who knows on whom the spyware has been used. The government should answer. Silence only means that they have indulged in wrongdoing," Raja said. The shadow of Pegasus looms large over the 2022 Budget Session after the Opposition had jointly stalled Parliament proceedings of the entire Monsoon Session last year over the issue.



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