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Phone Numbers Of Top NSCN (IM) Leaders Feature In Pegasus List: Report

The NSCN-IM had signed the historic Naga accord with the Modi-led Indian government in 2015.

Published
Politics
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>PM Narendra Modi speaks at the signing ceremony of historic Naga peace accord in New Delhi. </p></div>
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Phone numbers of top leaders of the Naga Socialist Council of Nagalim (Ishak-Muivah) (NSCN-IM) were added to a list of numbers of persons of interest believed to be generated by an Indian client of Israeli spyware, Pegasus.

The names of the NSCN-IM leaders who signed the 'historic' Naga Peace Accord with the Prime Minister Modi-led Union government in 2015, are the latest to the be added to the list of potential Pegasus targets worldwide, reports The Wire.

The list, a leaked database that forms the basis of the Pegasus Project comprising thousands of numbers and accessed by the French media nonprofit Forbidden Stories contains some that were successfully targeted with Pegasus, a military-grade surveillance tool that involves hacking a smartphone to compromise its contents. Forbidden Stories, with the help of Amnesty International, has involved 80 journalists from 17 news organisations in 10 countries in this project. The Wire is the Indian partner for the project.

Atem Vashum, Apam Muivah, Anthony Shimray and Phunthing Shimrang are some of the top NSCN-IM leaders that have been featured in the list, says The Wire.

"As per the leaked data, while the phone number used by Atem Vashum – widely considered to be the successor of the Th. Muivah, the chairman of the NSCN (I-M) – attracted interest in mid 2017, that of Muivah’s nephew Apam Muivah was added shortly thereafter. Two phone numbers of Anthony Ningkhang Shimray, the commander in chief of the Naga Army of NSCN (I-M), also appear in the leaked records in late 2017. The phone number of Phunthing Shimrang, the former commander in chief of the NSCN (I-M)’s Naga Army, and that of of the NNPG convener, N. Kitovi Zhimomi, appear later, towards the first half of 2019."
The Wire

The report also states that N. Kitovi Zhimomi, convenor of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), was also listed as a potential target.

The Modi government had been in talks with NNPGs since the end of 2017 to find 'one solution' to the Naga issue. Evidence available with the consortium suggests that Zhimomi's name was added to list towards the end of 2017 as well.

Over the past few days, the Pegasus Project has thrown up names of many politicians, journalists, activists and citizens who were part of the spyware's potential targets' list.

The Pegasus spyware, is manufactured by the Israeli NSO group. The group has staunchly said that they sell the spyware to government-affiliated agencies only.

(Based on a report by The Wire)

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