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Why ‘Snoopgate’ probing now?

A father of a woman who was allegedly stalked in Narendra Modi’s Gujarat, in the scandal dubbed ‘Snoopgate’, has moved the Supreme Court against any investigation, saying it would violate the privacy of his daughter, who is now married. Each politician boasts about woman’s security and dignity in this country but when it comes to political motive, they don’t mind to tear apart her existence. Why this ‘Snoopgate’ has become important issue when the victim herself is denying the probe as she is already married and having kids? With such news and probe, we are weakening the family and making their life bizarre. The political noise over Snoopgate has allowed attention to divert from the serious questions that the scandal raised, and which remains unanswered.

The Central Government has put its image in soil. If the two allies of the UPA were against the probe and the delay then they should have avoided the probe by the judge. Both the Union Law Minister and the Home Minister were trumpeting about the appointment of a Judge. If they had the powers then they would have not only appointed the Judge earlier but also published the report and tarnished the image of the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate. The Congress Party and its alliance partners require a peaceful retreat to think and act. Let the answer come from the soul who has a heart. This comes on a day when union minister Kapil Sibal confirmed that the government had stopped looking for a judge to head an inquiry into whether Narendra Modi had ordered excessive surveillance on the woman, an architect, in 2009.

Two key allies had strongly objected when the government announced last week that it would appoint a judge for the “Snoopgate” probe before votes for the national election are counted on May 16. One of them, Sharad Pawar, called Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the other, Omar Abdullah, tweeted “Was talking to my dad last night & he felt the same way – setting up a commission of inquiry in the dying hours of UPA 2 is just wrong (sic).” The BJP has said the commission will not stand legal scrutiny and a new government would review it. The Snoopgate scandal erupted with the revelation of phone conversations secretly recorded in 2009 by GL Singhal, a former senior police officer in Gujarat. The tapes allegedly establish that a “saheb” or big boss in Gujarat sought information on the movements and phone calls of the woman architect. The Congress alleges that the “sahib” was Modi.

The BJP says the woman’s father, who was known to Modi, was worried about her safety and asked for her to be protected. Congress on Tuesday said the Government dropped its move to name a judge to head the commission set up to probe ‘Snoopgate’, as it did not want to give an impression of political vendetta to go around as suggested by the allies. A controversy had broken out last week when senior ministers including Sibal and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had told the media that a judge would be named into the surveillance. The announcement came under severe attack from the BJP, which slammed the UPA saying it was practising vendetta out of desperation of defeat in the elections. The party also questioned the need for such a probe when the state government itself had ordered a commission of inquiry into the same subject.

However, what apparently took the government by surprise was the opposition from its allies-NCP and National Conference-which questioned appointment of the judge in the “dying days” of UPA-II.

The current election campaign has seen a resurgence of the “Snoopgate” controversy. In an election which it is expected to lose abysmally, the Congress has used the scandal as ammunition against Narendra Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, who is accused of ordering the illegal surveillance of a young woman architect in Gujarat. The controversy has its genesis in the CBI’s probe into another possible abuse of state power by the Gujarat government: the alleged fake encounters that were carried out by Gujarat’s Anti-Terror Squad (ATS). Several top police officers are now in jail on charges that include murder, criminal conspiracy and wrongful confinement. BJP has accepted that the young woman was placed under surveillance, but emphasises it was done with her knowledge and for her own security at the behest of her father, who claimed an old association with Modi. The UPA’s clumsy last-ditch attempt to gain political capital from Snoopgate has only allowed the BJP to deflect attention from the core charges.

Dr. Vaidehi Taman
Dr. Vaidehi is an Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and an Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. Since 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond the news (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which she caters for her sister-concern Kaizen-India Infosec Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

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