New tapes show snooping beyond Gujarat: Website
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The surveillance was carried out because, the web portal said in a report headlined 'Snoopgate: New tapes nail BJP lies', "a Saheb in Gujarat was interested in knowing the details of her (the woman's) love life."
The tapes contain purported conversations between Gujarat police officers G L Singhal and A K Sharma, who are discussing the refusal of the Karnataka government to allow them to tap the phone of the woman, whom Gulail calls "Madhuri". This allegedly happened in 2009, when B S Yeddyurappa was chief minister of the state.
According to Gulail, the new tapes reveal that officials of private mobile service companies facilitated interception of the woman's phones and illegally taped her conversations without authorisation from the Gujarat home secretary.
"These (new) tapes are in exclusive possession of Gulail and are not part of the 267 tapes that were seized from G L Singhal by the CBI in June," Gulail has said in its report.
"Gulail is revealing that Madhuri, a Bangalore-based architect, was surveilled by the Gujarat Police beyond the boundaries of the state. Gulail has obtained 39 new audio tapes of telephone conversations which reveal that the Gujarat home department had contacted the Karnataka government in 2009 and sought authorization to intercept the cellphone of Madhuri in whose private life — her movements and relationships — a Saheb was taking great personal interest," Gulail said.
Amit Shah, a close aide of Narendra Modi, was then the Gujarat minister of state for home. He purportedly figured in an earlier set of recordings released by Gulail last month, in which the alleged surveillance of the woman was first revealed.
Gulail on Tuesday said in a press statement: ...The new tapes prove beyond doubt that the sole purpose of this surveillance was to stalk Madhuri, and not to protect her. The BJP's claim that the exercise was done to "protect" doesn't hold water either."
Singhal, who was allegedly heard speaking to Amit Shah in the earlier tapes, is accused in the alleged Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case. In the tapes released by Gulail on Tuesday, Sharma is purportedly heard speaking with fellow IPS officer A K Sharma, a former IG of the state intelligence bureau who is now joint commissioner of Ahmedabad Police Crime Branch.
Excerpts from the purported conversation which was mostly in Gujarati, and an English translation of which was provided by Gulail:
August 11, 2009
A K Sharma: ...We are not able to monitor the Reliance number because Karnataka government has refused to do it (tapping) till they get due permission.
G L Singhal: Yes, yes...
AKS: The second issue is that the request letter should be signed by a secretary-level officer, whereas the Gujarat government letter is signed by an under secretary-level officer... And Home has not clarified on these two issues. So, we will not get any information from Karnataka.
AKS: There was a phonecall from Delhi, Gujarat Bhawan. He wants the latest update as he has to inform Saheb by 9 am.
GLS: Yes sir, yes sir.
AKS: Anything else? Anything worthwhile ?
GLS: No sir, she is still there, our team will reach there in 10 to 15 minutes, and the team was present there till late past midnight. So far, she has not ventured out. Actually, if we can arrange a photograph of her, if possible.
AKS : Okay, to indentify her?
GLS: Yes, as we cannot carry out the surveillance inside the hotel, we will have to keep watch from outside. Sir today I will try to check the hotel register.
AKS: We were able to get the registration number of the auto she travelled in from airport to the hotel. Our two men were there. They had doubt on a lady, while she was hiring auto, they overheard her telling the auto driver that she wanted to go to Hotel Ginger.
GLS: Yes sir.
AKS: So from them also we got information confirming the same location. They have seen her, so I am sending them to help you out in identifying her.
AKS: So, how can we work? Is there anyone who can go and listen?
GLS: ...It appears that she has come to meet a boy for her engagement.
AKS: Actually they were in a relationship earlier, but then in between they broke up, but it now seems that she has come to patch up... I had also listened to her telephonic conversations a month ago. ...She had a good relationship with him, but then some confusion occurred leading to distrust.
GLS: And the second thing she is saying that she also has a Reliance number.
AKS: Her Reliance number too is put under surveillance, but the problem is Reliance network is weak in that area. So she is not using it at the moment... It is also raining in Mumbai and so the tower has developed some problem. I have got an SMS from Reliance about the mobile location; that is the location of an hour ago. I am sending it you by SMS.