‘Govt has crossed all barriers’: TMCP slams ‘snooping’ on Opposition

At the sit-in, the members of the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) shouted slogans against the Centre, and accused it of using central agencies to target the Opposition.

The students’ wing of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Tuesday protested in front of the Gandhi statue on Mayo Road in Kolkata against alleged snooping on Diamond Harbour MP Abhishek Banerjee and other Opposition leaders using Israeli spyware Pegasus. The government has denied conducting any illegal surveillance.

At the sit-in, the members of the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) shouted slogans against the Centre, and accused it of using central agencies to target the Opposition.

TMCP state president Trinankur Bhattacharya said the truth about the alleged snooping must come to light. “The central government is targeting those with agencies who are opposing its policies. The government has crossed all barriers after this snooping against Opposition party leaders and especially against our party MP Abhishek Banerjee. We strongly condemn this,” Bhattacharya added.

On Monday, the TMC had lashed out at the Centre after the names of Banerjee and its poll strategist Prashant Kishor featured in a list of Indians whose phones were either breached or might have been targeted for hacking with the help of the spyware. The TMC taunted the saffron party, saying it could not win the state Assembly elections despite “hacking phones”.

An international consortium of media organisations has reported that more than 300 verified mobile phone numbers, including those belonging to two serving ministers, over 40 journalists, three Opposition leaders and one sitting judge, besides scores of businesspersons and activists, might have been targeted for hacking through Pegasus, which its manufacturer claims is sold only to government agencies.

A report published on Sunday claimed that the phone of Kishor was hacked during the high-octane West Bengal Assembly polls. It also claimed that the mobile number of Banerjee, who is the nephew of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and an all-India general secretary of the TMC, featured among the potential targets.

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