Israeli-made spyware Pegasus, ignited protests by India’s main opposition Congress Party throughout the country, as it revealed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, set as potential targets, dozens of opposition leaders, journalists, civil society activists and judges. The opposition accused Modi of turning India into a “surveillance state.”
The leaked list, which was shared by Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based nonprofit, and rights group Amnesty International, showed that at least 1,000 phone numbers of high-profile Indians were hacked through the spyware. These include two serving ministers, over 40 journalists, three important opposition leaders, one sitting judge and scores of businesspersons and activists.
Senior leader of the Congress Party Rahul Gandhi and two aides were among those who were targeted by the Israeli-made spyware.
On Wednesday, the party held a press conference to demand the resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah and accountability for the snooping.
“You (Narendra Modi) are trying to turn a democratic state into a surveillance state,” Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamta Banerjee told a large gathering in Kolkata. “Three things make democracy — media, judiciary and the Election Commission — and Pegasus has captured all three.”