'Have Your Phone Recordings': BJP's Suvendu To Mamata's Nephew, Amid Pegasus Row
Adhikari, in a clip, is heard saying that he has recordings of Abhishek Banerjee's calls to police officials.
Video Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj
Copy Editors: Padmashree Pande, Abhishek Chakraborty
As the Pegasus snoop gate row takes the Indian political circles by storm, a video of Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) MLA and Leader of Opposition in West Bengal, Suvendu Adhikari, has surfaced.
In the video, Adhikari, formerly with the Trinamool Congress, can be heard saying that he has "call recordings" of conversations between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew and TMC MP, Abhishek Banerjee, and police officers.
The video, which has since gone viral on social media, shows Suvendu addressing a public rally with other BJP leaders, purportedly in Bengal's East Midnapore district.
"The role of the IO (investigating officer), inspector-in-charge and the superintendent of police will be probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Phone calls are made to you from the nephew’s (Abhishek Banerjee) office. I have all the phone numbers and call records. If you have the state government, we have the Central government," Adhikari can be heard saying in the clip.
He was talking about how police officials are registering "fake cases" against him and other BJP leaders.
"I have gathered evidence on all the false cases you (Mamata Banerjee) have done on us. I will file a public interest litigation on these cases," emphasising how many senior police officials were transferred from Bengal by the central government.
In the video, Adhikari can also be heard threatening the Superintendent of Police (SP) of the East Medinipur district, Amarnath K.
"A young man has been made Superintendent of Police (SP) here, Mr Amarnath K, I know what he's doing, who he is talking to everyday. I'm a very old player. I'm just telling you that you're a central cadre officer. Don't do anything that will ensure that you have to do your duty in Kashmir's Anantnag or Baramulla," says Suvendu.
The West Bengal Police has taken suo motu cognisance of the case and registered an FIR against Adhikari and other BJP leaders present at the rally.
Adhikari's statements have had many asking whether he was using the Israeli spyware, Pegasus, to hack into Banerjee's phone.
An investigation by an international consortium of journalists has made a public a list of phone numbers from across the world that were added to the database of Pegasus, manufactured by the Israeli NSO group.
Pegasus can be used to hack into phones remotely and take control of data, without leaving a trace.
The NSO group insists that the software is only sold to government-affiliated entities across the world. Scores of Indian politicians, activists, journalists, and citizens have had their numbers turn up in this leaked list of Pegasus victims.
Abhishek Banerjee was identified as "potential target" as per investigations by the consortium.
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