Pegasus row: TMC members tear papers as Ashwini Vaishnaw reads statement in Rajya Sabha | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: The Rajya Sabha proceedings descended into chaos on Thursday as TMC members snatched IT minister Ashwani Vaishnaw‘s statement on the Pegasus spyware row, tore it and flung it into the air.
The bedlam erupted as Vaishnaw got up to reply to the opposition charges on the Pegasus controversy.
Several opposition members, including those belonging to TMC, rushed into the well of the House while shouting slogans against the government.
TMC member Santanu Sen snatched what appeared to be copies of the statement from Vaishnaw’s hands and tore it into pieces. “This is unacceptable,” Sen was heard saying while snatching the papers.
As papers were flung into the air, the minister could not complete his statement and instead laid a copy of it on the table of the House.
Deputy chairman Harivansh asked members to desist from unparliamentary behaviour, before adjourning the proceedings of the House for the rest of the day.
Opposition MPs had stalled the proceedings in the earlier part of the day as well, forcing two adjournments with not even officially listed papers being allowed to be laid.
The opposition has been targeting the government after a global media investigation revealed that Pegasus – a spyware developed by Israeli cyber firm NSO – has been used to snoop in on political leaders, journalists and activists.
The Wire, which was among the 17 media organisations in the ‘Pegasus Project’ led by the Paris-based non-profit journalism group Forbidden Stories, reported that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Union ministers Prahlad Patel and Ashwini Vaishnaw, and political strategist Prashant Kishor were among the potential targets for hacking.
(With inputs from agencies)

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