Maharashtra sets up panel to probe phone tapping during BJP regime

The three-member panel led by DGP will submit report in 3 months

The Maharashtra government on Friday formed a three-member committee led by the Director General of Police (DGP) to probe phone tapping instances during 2015 to 2019 when the BJP-led government was in power.

Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil had announced in the Assembly last week that the government would conduct the probe into allegations of spying on political opponents through phone tapping.

As per the government order, the three-member committee will be led by the DGP and the other members will be the Commissioner, State Intelligence department and the Additional Police Commissioner (Special Branch).

“The committee will scrutinise all instances of phone tapping during 2015 to 2019 and probe whether phones of elected representatives were tapped and will fix the responsibility,” said the order. The panel will have to submit its report in three months.

Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole had alleged in the Assembly that his phone was on surveillance in 2016. “Permission to tap my phone was taken by labelling my number as of someone called Amjad Khan and it was told to senior officials that the probe was related to drug business,” he had said.

Mr. Patole had demanded a probe and sought to know whether it was ordered by higher-ups in the then State government. Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also held the Home portfolio then.

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