Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) demanded thorough probe into the alleged tapping of phones during the previous BJP regime in the state. HPCC President Thakur Sukhvinder Singh (Sukkhu) in a press conference at Rajiv Bhawan, Shimla said that phone tapping is an illegal act, a very serious matter. He claimed that previous Govt had taken permission of about 35 numbers to tap, but it had tapped more than 700 numbers, which included political opponents, senior bureaucrats and journalists of the state.

He said that it is a heinous act and people of Himachal has right to know the real picture behind it. He claimed that the former Karnataka Chief Minister Ramakrishna Hegde had to resign on phone tapping issue in August 1988 when he accepted moral responsibility for the tapping of the telephones of prominent politicians in the State. Congress president lambasted at former Chief Minster and now leader of opposition in the Himachal assembly house over his demand for judicial inquiry into this matter and reminded him his own statement, which he had said in the house in 2009, and had denied any Phone tapping in state.

Sukhu said that Congress party in state would take this issue to its logical ends and to expose previous Govt’s heinous crime of breaching the privacy of common people, the party workers would stage rallies at all district headquarters on March 5 and also submit memorandum to the government, seeking a thorough probe into the matter and expose the “illegal and undemocratic” acts of the previous BJP government.

He also demanded that the names of the persons whose phones were kept under surveillance and tapped “legally or illegally” should be made public so that people of the state know “whose right to privacy was infringed” by the then government and for what purpose.

Congress state president also demanded registration of cases against the officials allegedly involved in phone tapping under relevant sections of IPC and Indian Telegraph Act and bring them to justice.

Thakur Sukhvinder Singh alleged that in one of the tapped conversion, a former minister was heard telling some one “three peti bare sahib ko our ek peti chhota sahib ko pahuncha de” (give three boxes to big boss and two to small one) and added that only a probe can decode “who are big and small bosses”.

While replying to the query of press, about the Pantajali Yogpeeth episode, Congress president supported his party and hailed Govt decision to cancel the lease of land given to Pantajali Yogpeeth at Sadhupul in Solan district. He said that lease was canceled as several irregularities and violations of laws have come to notice of the government. He alleged that previous state government had virtually put state on sale and Congress then in opposition had objected it, but despite that Dhumal Govt had allowed outsider to buy land in state by violating section 118, he also demanded state Govt to probe in it and hoped that in coming time many other such cases will crop up. He also claimed unity in state Congress and said that cabinet ministers’ names will be announced shortly.