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‘From whose pocket was the money spent?’: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Pegasus Row

Mumbai: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has called for an investigation into the funding of the Pegasus phone tapping. The Rajya Sabha parliamentarian has raised this demand in his weekly column in Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece, Saamna .

‘The Pegasus app was used to spy over 1,500 people including political workers, human rights activists, two Central ministers and 30 media personnel. According to a report, one licence used to spy on 50 phones would cost $8 million per year. If 300 phones were spied on then it would have cost at least $48 million dollars in 2019. There could [have been] more spending in 2020 and 2021. From whose pocket [was] the money spent? Will there be an investigation on this whole issue?,’ Sanjay Raut said .

‘This incident is not very different from the Hiroshima atomic bombing. There people had died while here the casualty is the independence. Mobile phones have now become virtual bombs” planted to keep a tab on the movement of its opponents,” said Raut.

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‘The list includes over 100 journalists who have been writing against the government, one of them was from Jharkhand who exposed a tribal’s fake encounter to light. Now Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ravi Shankar Prasad has asked why India alone was being targeted when more than 45 countries had Pegasus links. In a way, the BJP leader has admitted use of Pegasus in India,’ said the Sena leader.

Last week, some media reported that phones of several people including two serving union ministers, three opposition leaders, one constitutional authority, current and former heads of security organizations, administrators and 40 senior journalists and activists from India were allegedly hacked using a spy software called Pegasus developed by NSO Group based in Israel and put on surveillance.


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