The CPI(M) Friday demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Pegasus snooping row, asking if Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2017 visit to Israel had anything to do with the matter.
"The 10 times hike in National Security Council budget coincides with 2017 Modi's visit to Israel walking barefoot with Netanyahu on Mediterranean shore. Deal to engage Pegasus spyware for surveillance of Indians? JPC enquiry essential," CPIM general secretary Sitaram Yechury tweeted alongwith a snapshot talking about the hike in the NSC budget.
He also questioned income tax raids on media houses and alleged that those that are exposing the government are being "prosecuted".
"Government of deceit. Modi PR propaganda spins untruths disarming the people in combatting the pandemic & ruination of livelihoods. Those who expose are intimidated persecuted prosecuted & arrested," he said.
On Sunday, an international media consortium reported that over 300 verified mobile phone numbers, including of two ministers, over 40 journalists, three opposition leaders and one sitting judge besides scores of businesspersons and activists in India could have been targeted for hacking through the spyware.
The reports have been published by The Wire in collaboration with 16 other international publications including the Washington Post, The Guardian and Le Monde, as media partners to an investigation conducted by Paris-based media non-profit organisation Forbidden Stories and rights group Amnesty International.
The investigation focuses on a leaked list of more than 50,000 phone numbers from across the world that are believed to have been the target of surveillance through the Pegasus software of Israeli surveillance company NSO Group.
While the Opposition has been attacking the Centre over the issue, the government has said it has nothing to do with the matter.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)