Sunday, May 2, 2010

Indian Politicians May Have Had Phones Tapped by Security Services

India's parliament was adjourned for a short time last week following revelations that politicians mobile phones may have been tapped by the security services. Both the upper and lower houses were adjourned following protests by the opposition poltiicans. India's home minister denies the allegations.

The allegations were made by Outlook magazine, which claimed that he mobile phones of politicians, including a federal minister, were being tapped. The magazine claimed that the phones of a federal minister, Sharad Pawar, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, Communist leader Prakash Karat and a senior politician of the ruling Congress party Digvijay Singh had been tapped.

The magazine said the phone tapping was carried out by the National Technical Research Organization, a federal agency that covers technical intelligence gathering.

The opposition is also calling for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the matter.

"In the garb of tracking terror, the government is tracking politicians and even their cabinet ministers," senior BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said before the session began.

Congress party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters that that it was "entirely possible that legitimate national security activity could have had an unintended inclusion of snatches of conversation by inadvertence and not by design."

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