Spyware used against terrorists weaponized to deal with political opponents & dissenters: Mehbooba Mufti

According to Mehbooba Mufti, Government of India has gone rogue and is brazenly subverting basic human rights

The former chief minister of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state and President of Peoples Democratic Party on Friday accused the Centre of misusing the spyware Pegasus against political opponents and dissenters.

“A spyware used against terrorists has been weaponized to deal with political opponents & dissenters,” Mehbooba Mufti accused the BJP-led Central government.

She further said that BJP has taken a leaf out of how Britishers would suspect and treat Indians during the colonial era.

According to Mehbooba, the Government of India has gone rogue and is brazenly subverting basic human rights.

The PDP leader also quoted a news report from the online portal The Wire, which claimed that more than 25 people from the Kashmir Valley were selected as potential targets of intrusive surveillance.

Others on the leaked database include at least two members of People’s Democratic party chief Mehbooba Mufti’s family. “Their selection as potential targets of surveillance happened when Mufti was still CM and in a coalition with the BJP. In fact, Mufti’s family members were chosen for potential surveillance just months before the government collapsed,” the report said.

In addition, at least four members of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s family were of consistent interest to the Indian client of the NSO group between 2017 and 2019. The leak also claims that the current head of the Hurriyat conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was a potential target of surveillance between 2017 and 2019.

Additionally, at least five Kashmiri journalists – including Muzamil Jaleel of the Indian Express, Aurangzeb Naqshbandi with Hindustan Times at the time, Iftikhar Geelani formerly with DNA and Sumir Kaul of PTI – were also targeted in the cyber surveillance programme, according to the report.

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