Pegasus Row: Probe Suspects Documents were destroyed in 2018

Story Highlights
  • A three-member committee was constituted by CM Baghel to probe Pegasus snooping
  • Investigators suspect documents related to snooping were destroyed at BTI grounds in 2018
  • Seven activists of Chhattisgarh have been identified as victims of the spyware

Raipur: The Pegasus Project, a global consortium of 17 media organizations, including several media rooms suggested India is amongst the 45 countries using Malware developed by the Israel-based NSO group. The purported snoop list included 50,000 people and has phone numbers linked to at least heads of 14 nations.

Three days ago Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, had informed that the state administration has constituted a three-member committee to investigate the Pegasus Issue in the state. Then Home Secretary Subrata Sahu, DGP DM Awasthi and Public Relations Director Taran Prakash Sinha were members of the team. Additionally, the IG Intelligence team 2017 was also urged to help officials. According to CM Baghel, officials from Pegasus had visited Chhattisgarh during the BJP rule. 

Further investigation in the case suspects that documents related to the Pegasus snooping were destroyed at BTI ground soon after BJP lost charge in the state in 2018. 

The investigating committee cited the BTI fire as a reason for failure to present documents related to the case. According to officials, the documents were burnt in the BTI grounds in 2018.  Currently, the team has begun investigating emails of suspected officials involved in snooping. 

Sources also reveal that Pegasus software had been discussed in a presentation at a police headquarters. Furthermore, details of the WhatsApp voice notes have been released that indicate the spyware firm demanded Rs 60 crore. Further details of the case are still awaited as officials probe the matter.

Currently, seven individuals namely, Shuburanshu Chaudary, Bela Bhatia, Alok Shukla, Shalini Gera, Soni Sori, Degree Prasad Chauhan and Lingaram Kodopi have been identified as victims of the spyware snooping.

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