TMC MP Mahua Moitra today minced no words in slaying the Gujarat Model. With reference to Pegasus, the TMC MP said, “Snooping is Gujarat Model’s gift to India. In 2008-09 when Amit Shah was Home Minister, he called all the IPS officers to demonstrate spyware. This ‘Gujarat snooping model’, and now this Saheb wala snooping model has become an Indian model.” When she was attacked by Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw over his remarks on West Bengal Model being replicated in the parliament. She claimed that BJP brought the snooping culture from Gujarat.
“Hon’ble Minster says TMC has brought Bengal’s culture to Parliament. Yes, Sir- proud to fly our flag high. Much like BJP who’s taken Gujarat Sahib’s Snooping model National! (sic),” Moitra tweeted.
This is exactly what we at Vibes of India reported on July 20. Snooping is not a new concept in Gujarat and VoI reported earlier that even before the spyware revelations of the democracy being snooped through Israeli software, complaints of such phone surveillance were made in Gujarat as early as 2007.
Read VoI exclusive: Was any Israeli spyware tested in Gujarat?
When Vibes of India contacted a retired IPS officer who confirmed a spyware demonstration during Modi’s regime. He said, “We were told to be very careful by our seniors because an Israeli software was likely to have been experimented with in Gujarat. This was around 2009.” The retired officer also claimed that he did not know who bought it. “Maybe it was bought under the aegis of some Gujarat government-owned PSU or by someone else but there was a big buzz about Gujarat using Israeli spyware.”
The retired IPS officer said that when he tried to find out whether the software was purchased by Gujarat police, “the answer revealed was in the negative.”
On similar lines, in Aug-Sept 2009, illegal surveillance was allegedly undertaken by the State government on a young woman. An investigation by Cobrapost identified 267 audio recordings that had been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The recording had a phone conversation of Amit Shah and a close aide of then CM Modi directing the illegal and personal surveillance of a young woman. The BJP has dismissed the charges as part of dirty tricks by Congress in the lead-up to the polls.