Assam CM seeks ban on Amnesty for Pegasus row

He said there was a lot of evidence against Amnesty in the past but the recent expose made it clear that the organisation could go to any extent to damage India’s democratic fabric

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday said he would request the Centre to ban Amnesty International for its direct involvement in the Pegasus “conspiracy”.

He said there was a lot of evidence against Amnesty in the past but the recent expose made it clear that the organisation could go to any extent to damage India’s democratic fabric.

“Amnesty International is directly involved in the Pegasus conspiracy. Various Left-wing organisations throughout the world are a part of the conspiracy. I will request the government to immediately ban the organisation’s activities within India,” Dr. Sarma told journalists outside the State Assembly.

“We all know the role of Amnesty International and its credibility. It is all along encouraging Left-wing terrorism in India. It is working overnight to defame India. This (Pegasus) is a well-designed international conspiracy to defame (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi and the Indian parliamentary system and make a deliberate attempt to create dissatisfaction among people,” he said.

The Chief Minister said the names of many people had come in the public domain but none was ready to give his or her phone for a forensic examination.

“(Congress leader) Rahul Gandhi’s name is also on the list. He could have filed an FIR with his handset and it could have been examined through a forensic test. If he had done it, he would have known whether or not his phone was hacked. But he said he lost his phone. What does it mean?” Dr. Sarma said.

He reminded the Congress of its record of phone-tapping. “In response to an RTI application filed in 2013, the then UPA government said it had put than 5,000 phones and 500 email accounts under surveillance,” he said.

Watch | Explained: Pegasus, the spyware that came in via WhatsApp

 

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