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Pegasus row: Press associations demand SC-monitored probe

New Delhi: Press associations and journalist bodies on Thursday condemned the cases of alleged snooping on activist, journalists and civil society members through the Israeli software Pegasus spyware and has demanded a Supreme Court-monitored inquiry into the same while demanding the government to provide answers on the surveillance mounted on their colleagues.

In a press conference held at the Press Club of India condemning the matter, The Editors Guild of India, Press Association, Delhi Union of Journalists, Indian Women's Press Corps, Working News Cameraman Association and other media bodies strongly condemned the surveillance mounted on Indian journalists, activists, ministers, parliamentarians and members of the judiciary.

MK Venu, co-founder of The Wire and also one of the victims of alleged snooping, claimed that it was a human rights issue and persons who are concerned about human rights should equivocally condemn such an act. He added that if the government is denying it then atleast it should find out who carried out the snooping of their phones.

"We can take this to court and a good case will me made out of this for appropriate adjudication," Venu said.

Senior journalist Puranjoy Guha Thakurta, whose phones was also among the ones allegedly infected by Pegasus, said that he was writing a story on Reliance and their business activities when his phone was snooped on in 2018.

Meanwhile, senior journalist Prem Shankar Jha said the said act is an attempt to muzzle dissent and that media bodies should be ready to go to courts if need be.

"The use of Pegasus spyware to snoop on Indian citizens and groups endangers Indian sovereignty and it is necessary that the government of India should intervene decisively and clarify how and why this was done," the press bodies said, while demanding an SC-monitored probe.

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