New revelations in India 'snoopgate' emerge

Fresh investigative reports show illegal surveillance of female architect allegedly by aides of BJP leader Modi.

    New revelations in India 'snoopgate' emerge
    Modi has been under scanner since the news of surveillance first broke in November [EPA]

    Fresh details have emerged on India’s internal "snoopgate" involving illegal surveillance of a female architect allegedly by aides of Prime Ministerial aspirant Narendra Modi.

    Investigative news portal Gulail.com released a set of 39 new tapes, containing conversations that were tapped and, according to it, confirmed that the alleged illegal surveillance of the architect occurred beyond the boundaries of western Gujarat state.

    The first set of audio-tapes revealed by Gulail and another investigative portal Cobrapost on November 15, purported to show that the architect was under surveillance in

    Gujarat which is ruled by the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party government led by Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

    According to the reports on Wednesday quoting the portal, the surveillance showed that "a Saheb in Gujarat was interested in knowing the details of her (the woman's) love life."

    The name of the woman has not been revealed in conformity with Indian laws.

    Speculation has been rife since the surveillance first appeared in the media that "Saheb", or master in Hindi, refers to Modi and his purported interest in the architect based in Bangalore, the capital of southern Karnataka state.

    The new tapes released by the investigative website on Tuesday contain conversations claimed to be that between Gujarat police officers GL Singhal and AK Sharma, who were apparently discussing the refusal of the Karnataka state government to allow tapping the phone of the female architect.

    No authorisation

    The tapes reveal that private mobile phone operators helped to intercept the woman’s phone and record her conversations without the appropriate authorisation, Gulail reported.

    The new tapes that Gulail has in its possession are not part of the earlier 267 tapes seized by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from Singhal in June on the issue, reports said.

    The new tapes reveal that Modi’s aides sought authorisation from the Karnataka government to intercept the architect’s cell phone to monitor her movements and relationships.

    Reports, quoting Gulail, said that the latest tapes proved beyond doubt that the main reason for the surveillance was to tail the architect, and not to protect her.

    The BJP, which has been on the defensive over the issue as Modi is its candidate for the national elections next year, has said that the surveillance was with a view to protecting the architect.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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