DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TUESDAY, JULY 20, 2021, AHMEDABAD, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES `4.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 PEGASUS SPYWARE: MORE REVELATIONS IN GLOBAL INVESTIGATION Rahul, Mamata’s nephew, 2 Union ministers, dissident ex-EC Lavasa in snooping target list PM Modi at Parliament House Monday. Prem Nath Pandey MONSOON SESSION FIRST DAY RAHUL GANDHI ASHOK LAVASA ASHWINI VAISHNAW PRAHLAD PATEL PRASHANT KISHOR ABHISHEK BANERJEE GAGANDEEP KANG Senior Congress leader Former Election Commissioner Railways, IT minister MoS, Jal Shakti Political strategist Trinamool leader Virologist ‘No substance behind this sensationalism’ ‘Nothing to add to IT minister’s statement’ ‘Undue advantage of position of power’ ‘Two min of silence for sore losers’ ‘No clue why my number is on that list’ ‘They are #Bharatiya Jasoos Party’ Oppattacksgovt; Congseeksprobe, Shah’sresignation MANOJ C G NEW DELHI, JULY 19 ASECOND list of possibletargets of an alleged surveillance operation using the Pegasus spyware revealedinaglobalcollaborative investigation includes the mobile phones used by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, and former Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa. Thepublicationof thenames onMonday eveningsetoff amajor political storm that has the potential to derail the Monsoon Sessionof Parliamentthatbegan earlier in the day. At a press conference, the Congressdemandedtheresignationof HomeMinisterAmitShah andaninvestigationintotherole of PrimeMinisterNarendraModi in the alleged espionage. The partysaiditwouldraisetheissue in Parliament, and get other opposition parties on board. Digital news platform The Wire, which is part of the collaboration along with 16 media partners led by the Paris-based journalism nonprofit Forbidden Stories and including The Washington Post in the United States, The Guardian in the United Kingdom, and Le Monde in France, reported that at least two mobile phone numbers CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE EDITORIAL PAGE WHENCHINA MEETS TALIBAN BY C. RAJA MOHAN PAGE 8 ‘No comment’ Ministers Vaishnaw, Prahlad Patel in list, also aides of Irani, Raje EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, JULY 19 HOURS AFTER Union Minister for Electronics & Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw rejected in Parliament allegations that Pegasus spyware may have been used to snoop on politicians, journalists and a constitutional authority, among others, his own name popped up in a list of individuals whose phone numbers were potential targets, released by a global col- EXPLAINED HOW PEGASUS INFECTS PHONES PAGE 12 laborative project. Digital news platform The Wire also named Union minister Prahlad Singh Patel as one of the potential targets, apart from an aide of another Union minister Smriti Irani, and an associate CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Eleven phones targeted: Of woman who accused ex-CJI of harassment, kin MAHENDER SINGH MANRAL NEW DELHI, JULY 19 IN THE new list of possible targets of surveillance released by a global collaborative investigation including The Wire in India are three phone numbers used bythewomanwhoinApril2019 accused the then sitting Chief THESUPREMECourtonMonday took serious exception to the Gujarat government giving hospitals and nursing homes operating without requisite fire safety clearance more time to comply with the norms and said that it had already directed in December, 2020, that fire audits be conducted in hospitals and deficiencies rectified. A bench of Justices D Y NEW DELHI, JULY 19 WHAT DIFFERENCE do 20 months make? Not much, when it comes to explaining the Government’s stand on the Pegasus spyware and its use. In Lok Sabha Monday, Ashwani Vaishnaw, the new Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, effectively, echoed what his predecessor Ravi Shankar Prasad had said on November 28, 2019. Prasad was replying in Rajya Sabha weeks after The Indian ExpressreportedonWhatsApp’s CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, JULY 19 UNION HOME Minister Amit Shah led the charge as the government Monday denounced reports that Pegasus spyware could have been used to snoop onjournalists,politiciansandactivists, calling it an attempt “to malignIndiandemocracyandits well established institutions”. Both Shah and Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw hintedthatthereportsweretimed to coincide with the start of the MonsoonSessionof Parliament. Addressing Parliament amidstOppositionsloganeering, Vaishnaw said, “A highly sensational story was published by a ‘Reports a day before House session. Can’t be coincidence’ web portal yesterday night. Many over-the-top allegations have been made around this story. The press reports have appeared a day before the MonsoonSession.Thiscannotbe a coincidence.” Shah released a statement, where attacking the Opposition for disrupting Parliament and raising the issue of Pegasus, he said,“Inwhatseemedlikeperfect cue,latelasteveningwesawareportwhichhasbeenamplifiedby CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 LIZ MATHEW NEW DELHI, JULY 19 PARLIAMENT’S MONSOON Session got off to a stormy start Monday as the Opposition, protesting overseveral issues including farm laws and fuel price hike, prevented Prime Minister Narendra Modi from introducing his newly inducted Union ministers, a customary practice. The Opposition did not budge even as the PM tried to put it on the mat by citing the social combination of his new ministers. When the Treasury benches accused the Opposition, especially the Congress, of violating convention by not allowing Modi to continue, the Congress countered that the BJP had done the same in 2004 when PM Manmohan Singh was trying to introduce his ministers. The Arockystart THE RUCKUS in Parliament Monday dashes the government’s hopes of a productive session. Leading up to the session, the government had opened several lines of communication with the Opposition, hoping for a more peaceful run than earlier sessions. ruckus ensured that the Lok Sabha had to be adjourned multipletimesbeforeendingtheday CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BY UNNY CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Can’t allow hospitals to prosper at cost of human lives: SC to Gujarat govt NEW DELHI, JULY 19 MANOJ C G Bid to malign India, aap chronology samajhiye, says Shah Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment. An in-house committee of the Supreme Court had cleared Gogoi, and he had been nominated to Rajya Sabha by the government soon after he retired. According to The Wire, the numbers belonging to the woman, along with eight other numbers used by her husband HOSPITALS’ FIRE SAFETY CLEARANCE EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE 2019 & now, Govt ducks key question: did it buy Pegasus? Ruckus in both Houses, PM can’t introduce new ministers Chandradchud and M R Shah said that “once there is a mandamus of the Court, it is well settled that it cannot be overridden, and less so by an executive notification”. “You can’t, by an executive notification, nullifyadirectionof the Supreme Court like this”, said Justice Chandrachud. The court was referring to a July 8, 2021 notification of the GujaratUrbanDevelopmentand UrbanHousingDepartment,givinghospitalsandnursinghomes CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 20 BSF jawans who landed in Gujarat from other states test Covid-positive EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE AHMEDABAD, JULY 19 ATLEAST20jawansof theBorder SecurityForce(BSF)whorecently returnedtoBanaskanthadistrict in North Gujarat from different parts of the country have tested positive for Covid-19, official sources said on Monday. As per the daily state health bulletin, 24 new cases of Covid19werereportedfromacrossthe state with no fatalities. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 AN EXPRESS SERIES PART-4 Boycott and a warning: ‘Without party nod, no one will sell anything to these people’ PAGE 1 ANCHOR RAVIK BHATTACHARYA & ATRI MITRA MAHISDA (PASCHIM MEDINIPUR), JULY 19 DULAL Chakraborty remembers thatitwasfourdaysaftertheMay 2pollresultswhenagroupof“localTrinamoolworkers”arrivedat hismudhouseinMahisdavillage of Paschim Medinipur district’s Keshpur area. Chakraborty and his son Somnath, both BJP workers, were already living at a relative’shouse,hesays,fearingretaliation.Thementoldthefamilyto stay “ghorbandi (inside the Dulal Chakraborty, wife say they faced social boycott for 15 days. He says he has left the BJP now. Partha Paul house)”, and not be seen anywhere outside. Chakraborty later realised he and his son figured in a list of 16 local BJP supporters and 2 CPM members allegedly prepared by the Trinamool for social boycott. After the list became viral, po- lice got into the act. By the time they landed up at Chakraborty’s house to reassure the family that the “ghorbandi” was illegal, it had been 15 days, and his mind was made: the 59-year-old and his family cut off all links with the BJP. The TMC claims it didn’t issue any leaflet containing such a list. Police suo motu lodged a case against “unknown persons”,and only recentlyarrested four people, all TMC supporters, for spreading “rumours”. They are out on bail. But,forChakrabortyandothers, the “fear” was real. After spending days cooped up until policeintervention,severalclaim to have left the BJP. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Ahmedabad
Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.