Current Affairs

State tapping phone of terror-links suspects

The state government is tapping 20 telephone numbers of persons, most of who are suspected to have terror links, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the Goa assembly on Tuesday.

Parrikar declined to give details of the phones being tapped or of the procedures adopted in the tapping saying that the information is confidential and its disclosure is not in public interest. The tapping is being done since March last year.

Sources said that the numbers could include those of persons being probed for terror links in the state, including two persons who were arrested on suspicion at Dabolim airport over the last year. The persons had more than one phone and their close accomplices had also come under surveillance then.

Sources also indicated that persons who have the potential of creating law and order problems in the state could be under the scanner.

Parrikar, who also holds the home portfolio, said police were tapping phones after obtaining permission from a committee headed by the chief secretary and the phones under surveillance belong to persons suspected to be involved in serious crimes like terrorism, murder, rapes, etc.

Parrikar made the statement during question hour after legislators raised apprehensions in the assembly over whether the police were tapping their phones. Parrikar clarified that although 20 telephone numbers are indeed being tapped for suspected terror links, none of them belong to politicians.

The issue was raised in a starred question by Taleigao Congress MLA Jennifer Monserrate. Parrikar said his government does not indulge in illegal tapping of phones. He said that police are keeping 20 telephones, both cell phones and landlines, under surveillance but these do not belong to any politicians.

Some legislators, particularly Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai, wanted to know whether there were any private operators in Goa who were indulging in unauthorized tapping of phones. Parrikar said that he was not aware of any such private operators in Goa but said that if he finds out, he will crack down on them. “That is illegal and a serious breach of personal privacy,” Parrikar said.

Government tapping 20 telephones of persons, most of who are suspected to have terror links.

CM Manohar Parrikar declines to give details of phones being tapped. Phones of persons who have the potential of creating law and order problems could also be under scanner.

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