Kolkata: Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee has come down heavily on Bharatiya Janata party-led Central government over Pegasus phone-hacking row.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, Chief Minister Mamata announced that her government has formed a two-member inquiry commission to probe the Pegasus phone-hacking scandal.
The probe panel – to be headed by retired judges Justice MB Lokur and Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya – will look into allegations of snooping on politicians, officials and journalists using Israeli spyware Pegasus.
“Under the leadership of Senior Justice Madan Bhimrao Lokur and ex-Chief Justice, Calcutta High Court, Jyotirmay Bhattacharya, we’ve initiated the commission. They will monitor illegal hacking, monitoring, surveillance, recording mobile phones etc,” CM Mamata said.
According to reports, the decision to form a panel, with retired judges as its members, was taken at a special cabinet meeting chaired by the chief minister during the day.
“Through Pegasus, everyone including judiciary and civic society has been under surveillance. We expected that during Parliament, Centre will investigate under Supreme Court supervision, but they didn’t. West Bengal is the first state to initiate a commission of enquiry,” TMC supremo said.
Banerjee is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi during her visit to the national capital on July 28. The TMC chief, who has been highly critical of the Centre on the Pegasus snoopgate row, had, during her speech at the Martyr’s Day event, said that she would be in Delhi on July 27, 28 and 29 during which she would like to want to meet as many opposition leaders as possible.
Escalating her attack on the Centre over the alleged hacking of phones of opposition leaders and journalists using the Pegasus spyware, Banerjee earlier alleged that the government had put her meetings with poll strategist Prashant Kishor under surveillance.