All Assam Students Union (AASU) chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharjee and pro-talk ULFA leader Anup Chetia were also among the people allegedly targeted for surveillance by Pegasus spyware, news website The Wire reported.
One mobile phone number that was being used by Bhattacharjee and figured among 300 verified Indian numbers that were listed as potential targets of Israeli surveillance technology vendor NSO Group.
Apart from the AASU leader, pro-talk ULFA leader, Anup Chetia’s mobile phone number was also on the list, the report said.
One of his two phone numbers was selected as a possible candidate for surveillance in late 2018.
“Tucked away in the leaked list of thousands of phone numbers that were analyzed by Pegasus Project partners, is one that belongs to Bhattacharjee,” The Wire reported.
The AASU adviser’s number was added to the list less than a month before the Union Home Ministry’s announcement of the new Clause Six committee.
On July 16, 2019, the Home Ministry announced the reconstitution of a ‘high-level committee to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.
The committee was formed with retired Gauhati High Court Justice Biplab Kumar Sarma as chairman and AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharjee as one of the members of the committee.
Chetia, who took an active part in the ULFA’s peace talks with the Centre, had, in May 2018, demanded the scrapping of Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) passed in December 2019 – and had threatened to walk out of the negotiations if the law was not dropped for Assam.