“Was Offered Pegasus Spyware For ₹ 25 Crore, Rejected It”: Mamata Banerjee

In News
Facebooktwitteryoutubeby feather

Kolkata: Mamata Banerjee today said her government had turned down an offer to buy Israeli spyware Pegasus a few years ago. The use of the spyware to snoop on political rivals is “not acceptable”, the Bengal Chief Minister told reporters.
“They came to our police department to sell their machines. They demanded ₹ 25 crore for it, five years back. It came to me, I said no we don’t want to buy such machines,” Mamata Banerjee said.

“If it was for anti-national activities and for security, it could have been a different thing. But it is used for political reasons, it’s used against officials and judges, which is not acceptable,” she added.

A political cataclysm followed allegations that the Pegasus spyware – sold only to governments – was allegedly used to target opposition leaders, journalists and others in India.

In 2019, a media consortium, including The Wire, revealed that 300 phones from India were on the list of potential targets on the leaked database of NSO, which supplies the Pegasus spyware. It is not established, however, that all the phones were hacked.

Phones of opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Supreme Court judges, ministers, and journalists were among the potential targets.

Ms Banerjee had alleged yesterday that her phone was being tapped. “My phone is being tapped. If we talk about anything, they will come to know. Three years back, I had also got an offer to buy Pegasus. But I did not buy it. I don’t believe in interfering in privacy and curbing freedom of speech. But several BJP-ruled states had bought Pegasus,” she said.

Her Pegasus claims come days after a BJP leader, Anirban Ganguly, alleged that Mamata Banerjee had been using the spyware since she came to power in 2016.

The Supreme Court is hearing a dozen petitions that allege the use of the spyware for surveillance over journalists, opposition politicians, judges and other prominent people.

The government has strongly denied allegations that it bought Pegasus software for snooping.

Facebooktwitteryoutubeby feather
In News
Calcutta HC recalls warrant of arrest against BJP leader

Kolkata, Sep 21 The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday recalled a warrant of arrest issued by the additional chief judicial magistrate of Bolpur on April 13, 2022, against BJP leader Anirban Ganguly. This effectively means that Ganguly can no longer be arrested on the basis of the warrant. The BJP …

In News
HC recalls arrest warrant against Bolpur BJP neta

Kolkata: Calcutta HC on Tuesday recalled the arrest warrant against BJP leader and candidate from Bolpur assembly constituency Anirban Ganguly, reports Subrata Chattoraj. The additional chief judicial magistrate had issued the warrant on April 13 based on a case registered with Bolpur PS on April 21, 2021 against Ganguly and …

In News
Didi kin says would have shot protesters; ‘fascist’, labels BJP

NEW DELHI: Reacting to Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee’s remarks that had he been present at the spot where BJP workers were protesting, he would have shot them multiple times in their heads, the saffron party on Thursday said West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and her nephew have a “fascist …