This Article is From Nov 26, 2013

Gujarat snooping row: Narendra Modi government's probe panel 'eyewash', says Congress

Gujarat snooping row: Narendra Modi government's probe panel 'eyewash', says Congress
Ahmedabad: The Congress has slammed the Gujarat government's Commission of Inquiry into the alleged stalking of a woman architect in 2009 by top police officers as "eyewash".

Battling a snowballing controversy over the alleged involvement of Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the excessive surveillance of the young woman, the state government on Monday set up a panel comprising retired High Court judge Sugnya Bhatt and senior bureaucrat KC Kapoor and asked them to submit a report within three months.

Two news websites, and Gulail, last week said that the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI has audio tapes that allegedly reveal Mr Modi's close aide and then Home Minister Amit Shah instructing police officers to tail the woman at all times, as insisted upon by "saheb" or boss.

The Congress alleges that the "saheb" reference is to Mr Modi, who is the BJP's candidate for Prime Minister in 2014.

The party alleged on Tuesday that the state government handpicked the panel to protect Mr Modi and Amit Shah.

Justice Sugna Bhatt reportedly headed a commission which probed whether the devastating flood in Surat in 2006 was a result of the administration's mismanagement. The commission reportedly found the Modi government above board.

The Congress also alleges that KC Kapoor, who was principal secretary, Home, in Gujarat between 2004 and 2007, is close to both Mr Modi and Amit Shah.

On Monday, the Congress took its demands for a probe against Mr Modi to President Pranab Mukherjee.

"93,000 calls were intercepted. The situation has revealed that it was a reign of terror and Gujarat was a police state," said a senior Congress leader.

A former Gujarat IAS officer Pradeep Sharma, who was allegedly snooped upon by the Modi government, has alleged that he was victimised by the Modi government as he knew of the relationship between the architect and the Chief Minister.