Targeting civilians with Pegasus spyware is a travesty of democracy

GUWAHATI: The Axom Nagarik Samaj (ANS), a Guwahati-based citizens’ group, on Tuesday slammed the Centre over a recent New York Times report which claimed that the Indian government bought the Pegasus spyware in 2017 as part of a deal with Israel.

“…all this is a shocking revelation. How can the government of India do this? This is most unheard of and unprecedented. This is not only a blatant misuse of power on the part of a democratically elected government but also defies all norms and principles of democracy and civilized governance,” ANS president Ajit Kumar Bhuyan told reporters in Guwahati.

He alleged that the Central government has misled the Indian Parliament as well as the Supreme Court of India over the Pegasus controversy.

“A government using spyware on its own citizen, political opponents and people occupying high offices is a grave threat to democracy,” Bhuyan added.

“Our country has never experienced something like this since its independence. It is an attack on the very foundation of our constitution and the fundamental liberties it upholds. We are most perturbed by this development,” added the Rajya Sabha MP.

“This is a great crisis facing our democracy. We as Indians must search our hearts and deeply ponder where this ruling dispensation has led our country to.  Honestly, should they be in power even after this?” said ANS general secretary Paresh Malakar.

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