Plot to corner Modi misfires
Allegations were levelled against BJP general secretary Amit Shah of using Gujarat police for illegal surveillance on a young woman on the instructions of his ‘saheb’.
The allegations were made at a press conference along with release of over half-an-hour of tapped telephonic conversations, purportedly between Amit Shah, Gujarat IPS officer GL Singhal and others. Cobrapost.com and Gulail.com claimed that these conversations have been submitted to CBI in the Ishrat Jahan murder case, however, they also said, ‘at this point of time, Gulail and Cobrapost have no means to independently verify these charges’.
Shah was the minister of state for home in the Modi cabinet between 2003 and 2010. He was arrested in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case in 2010. Presently, he is out on bail and looking after BJP’s poll campaign in Uttar Pradesh. Gujarat IPS officer GL Singhal is also an accused in the Ishrat Jahan case.
According to tapes, which were played out before the media on Friday by the website, alleged illegal surveillance was done on a young woman from Bangalore in 2009 on the orders of Shah, a close aide of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.
It alleged that Singhal handed over hundreds of recorded telephonic conversations to the CBI revealing how the Gujarat Police misused their powers to stalk this woman. It further claimed that the police followed her inside malls, restaurants, gyms, even when she visited relatives, went to see her mother at a hospital, took a flight or checked into a hotel.
The website alleged that the entire surveillance-cum-phone interception operation was mounted in August 2009 on oral orders, without any valid legal authorisation, and was meant only to serve the interests of someone whom Shah addressed as ‘saheb’.
The website claimed that the illegal spying in which Singhal has confessed to his key role was initiated on the instructions of Shah in the month of August 2009 and continued for several weeks thereafter.
‘The 267 audio recordings submitted to the CBI primarily contain telephonic conversations between Shah and Singhal, who was at the time posted as SP with ATS. In at least half a dozen conversations, Shah is alluding to his saheb’s acute personal interest in the snooping of the woman. The conversations suggest Shah was passing minute-by-minute details gathered through this snooping operation to his saheb,’ said the website.
According to the website, they have accessed recordings of three explosive self-incriminatory statements given by Singhal before the CBI between April and June this year.
‘We also have the 10-page panchnama prepared by the CBI, as the agency took possession of the phone recordings from Singhal. All conversations were recorded by Singhal who at that time was close to Shah. Apparently, it was only after the CBI arrested him in the Ishrat Jahan killing case in February this year that he cracked up and chose to cooperate with the CBI,’ they said.
Apart from snooping on that woman, a senior IAS officer from Gujarat named Pradeep Sharma, was also put on watch, illegally.
Meanwhile, the father of the woman, said that certain vested interests are approaching the media to present the things in a pervert manner and seeking to give political colour to their personal family issue.
He said that his family had come from Kutchh to Ahmedabad as his wife had to undergo an operation and at that time his Banglore-based daughter had also come to Ahmedabad and had stayed in a nearby hotel.
‘As a father, obviously I was concerned and worried for my daughter. Under the circumstances, she was required to frequently commute during odd hours, which worried me most as a father. Under the circumstances, I orally requested Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, with whom we have long standing family relations, to take care of my daughter and to ensure that she does not face any problem. He assured me as a political head of the state,’ said the father’s statement.