Bhubaneswar, Nov 24 (Odisha.in) Opposition parties on Saturday expressed their shock and anger after Odisha authorities confirmed that they tapped a total of 4620 telephones including landlines and mobiles in the state within four year from 2008 and 2012.
The home department disclosed the figure in response to a Right to Information query submitted by social activist and lawyer Biswapriya Kanungo on September 15. “Were there any terrorist activities in the state during these periods? What was the emergency?” senior Congress leader Arya Kumar Gyanendra told reporters.
“Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is afraid of his own shade. That is why his government had tapped the telephones of those who are critical of him and his policies”, he pointed out. The Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) leader Ashok Sahu said the phone tapping voilates basic human rights and intrusion into privacy .
Right to Information (RTI) applicant Biswapriya Kanungo said the government can tap a phone only when there is a public emergency or in the existence of public safety interest.
There was no such situation in the state. I am surprised what prompted the government to tap such a large number of phones” he said. Citing the information he received from the home department Kanungo said the phones were tapped from Dec 29, 2009 to Sept 15 2012.