It was elaborate protection, not snooping: BJP on Stalk-Gate

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File pic: Narendra Modi with Amit Shah

New Delhi:  The controversy over why a young woman was spied upon by some of Gujarat's most senior police officers is defunct, the BJP claimed today. To bolster its argument, it referred to a letter from the woman's father, released last night, which says she wants her privacy to be respected and does not want the matter investigated by the National Commission for Women.

Prakash Javadekar, party spokesperson, accepted that the woman was monitored, but stressed, "It wasn't snooping but an elaborate protection arrangement done with the consent of the family and even the targeted girl." He said it's essential to respect the wishes of the woman and her family and end all talk of enquiry.

The Congress says that's impossible. "What kind of logic is that? Suppose there is a kidnapping and a heinous crime takes place and the father says don't lodge a complaint... should the government sit back?" asked union minister Kapil Sibal.

The BJP may deny it, but charges that the illegal surveillance was commissioned in 2009 by its prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, have unzipped a series of potentially damaging consequences smack in the middle of election season.

The National Commission for Women or NCW, says it cannot entertain the written request sent last night by the woman's father to skip an inquiry. (Read: Despite letter from woman's father, rights panel wants probe) The panel is headed by Mamta Sharma of the Congress party.

In his letter sent last night, the woman's father said that he knows Mr Modi well and sought his assistance for his daughter's security, but did not specify what help he requested or received. He said the intervention was "in her own interest, safety and security, and there has been no encroachment on her privacy as sought to be made out."

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