Gujarat snooping: Father's letter clears Modi
There is a new twist in the case of surveillance on a young woman in 2009 by the Narendra Modi government after the father of the girl said the move at their request and his daughter was aware that here movements were being monitored for her safety.
The father of the girl in a letter to the National Commission for Women said there is no need to probe the matter further. His letter came out on a day a senior bureaucrat in Gujarat alleged that the Modi government persecuted him because he knew about the "snooping".
The girl's father also said that he knew Modi over two decades as against the claim of the bureaucrat Pradeep Sharma that he introduced him to Modi.
Following is the full text of the letter:
"I am indeed shocked and pained due to the developments since past few days in which purely personal and family issues pertaining to my daughter are being publicly raised in the media by certain vested interest groups in spite of my written request to the media a copy of which i am enclosing with this letter.
My daughter is an architect and an educated lady. She is married and also deeply perturbed by intrusion upon her personal and her privacy. with a view to ensure that her anonymity and whereabouts remains out of public gaze, she has requested me to write this letter to this honorable commission on her behalf and her request. In the year 2009, due to personal and family reasons I had made a request to the honourable CM Gujarat to take steps in my daughter's interest. Considering the fact that the issues bothering me and my family were personal in nature, I deemed it fit to make an oral request to the honourable CM as political head of state of Gujarat with whom I have long-standing relations spread over two decades.
My daughter is fully aware of all types of help that was rendered by the state machinery considering a genuine request of a father for his daughter. She is fully conscious that the said help was absolutely necessary and was in her own interest, safety and security.
In spite of the above facts, issues concerning my married daughter and her personal life and of my family are being publicly raised by certain vested interest groups in the media ostensibly on the grounds that her right of privacy is violated. she strongly feels and it also clearly appears that under the guise of protecting my daughter's right to privacy, her personal right to privacy is being grossly breached, manifestly for political objectives.
I, on behalf and at the request of my daughter, earnestly urge that whatever help that whatever help was rendered upon my request is within her knowledge and her own interest safety and security and there has been no encroachment on her privacy as sought to be made out.
Kindly, therefore, ensure that my daughter's personal issues be not publicly discussed in the media and if any person, body, political party or authority approaches this commission, based upon any fact concerning her,let not cognizance be taken by this commission."
Earlier, a senior bureaucrat from Gujarat said he was persecuted by the state government led by Narendra Modi back in 2010 because he knew the relationship between a state politician and the woman who is in the middle of the snooping controversy linking Modi's top aide Amit Shah.
Speaking to NDTV, Pradeep Sharma, who was arrested and suspended on corruption charges earlier in 2010, said he has appealed to the Supreme Court to make the Gujarat government explain why he was placed under surveillance too.
He told the channel that he was persecuted for knowing the relationship between the woman and the politician. "Surveillance proves I was persecuted," he said.
Sharma got bail in 2011.
Sharma also claimed that he had introduced the father of the woman concerned to Modi after BJP said the father of the girl herself had requested for surveillance.
The BJP however alleged that Pradeep Sharma himself was the man from whom the woman was shielded and hence she was put under surveillance.
The party said the woman's family knew Modi and they were worried about her security and hence had requested him for her security.
Earlier, the ruling Congress party and BJP engaged in a verbal tussle over the snooping allegations against Amit Shah.
Alleging that former state home minister Amit Shah verbally ordered the state police to monitor the movements and phone conversations of a young woman architect in 2009, the Congress wanted a Supreme Court judge to investigate the case.
The allegations were made at a press conference along with release of over half-an-hour of tapped telephonic conversations,suspected to be one between Shah and Gujarat IPS officer G.L. Singhal.
Two investigative portals Cobrapost and Gulail broke the story and claimed to have submitted the tapes to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Ishrat Jahan murder case.
"Audio tapes reveal the illegal surveillance of a young woman from Bangalore in 2009 ordered by Amit Shah for his 'Saheb'. The police followed her inside malls, restaurants, gyms, even when she visited relatives, went to see her mother at a hospital, took a flight or checked into a hotel," Cobrapost reported.
However, the BJP is defending the allegations against Shah.
BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "Has the lady in question complained? Has the family members complained?"
He asked who are they (Congress) to shout. "It is motivated and dirty tricks of Congress party," Prasad said.
BJP also produced earlier a letter from the girl's father where he purportedly said that he was concerned about her security and had hence asked Modi for help.
(Posted on 20-11-2013)