Accusations of phone tapping by AP government
Opposition leader N Chandrababu Naidu has written to the Prime Minister about alleged phone tapping by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh.
The former Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party leader N Chandrababu Naidu has demanded a high-level inquiry by the Centre into a series of phone tappings allegedly happening in the state. He has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government has been spying on opposition leaders, advocates, activists, journalists and even the judiciary. He has asked for a comprehensive inquiry by a competent authority and for stringent action to be taken.
Accusing the ruling party of unleashing “jungle raj” on all sections of the society in the state, he wrote about the use of illegal tactics to safeguard power and blackmail dissenting voices. There was a serious threat to privacy in the state, not just by the government but also by private individuals who are increasingly using sophisticated technologies and illegal software to tap phones. He said that if these nefarious activities weren’t brought to an end they would emerge as a big threat to national security and sovereignty of the country.
He said that the ruling party was misusing its powers to destroy institutions, deny fundamental rights and perpetuate oppression. The ruling party has even targetted the judiciary as they have been facing many challenges from them, the letter said. The process began with the attack on investors and pro-people policies and continued with attacks on the State Election Commission and the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission.
Naidu even said two of his own numbers were being monitored by intelligence officials on the behest of the Chief Minister. This stands directly against Articles 19 and 21 and violates the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution, he said. He further highlighted the violation of Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act and Section 69 of the Information Technology Act as the government has given no reason to tap these phones which are being done completely outside the ambit of the law. Rebel lawmakers from the ruling party also have made similar allegations against the Chief Minister. The Director-General of Andhra Pradesh Police has written to Naidu asking him to produce evidence to substantiate his allegations and file a formal complaint. He has promised to protect the legal and constitutional rights of citizens, including the right to privacy.