Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP Prime Minister candidate Narendra Modi’s close aide and former Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah was on Friday accused of misusing his powers and police machinery for illegal surveillance of a young woman in August 2009 “at the behest of his saheb.”
With the opposition terming the entire episode as 'snoopgate', Amit Shah was expected to raise his voice, but that has not happened. Instead, the BJP has fielded other leaders on his behalf - not even Narendra Modi has chosen to raise the snooping subject.
An alleged taped conversation between Shah and Gujarat IPS officer G L Singhal aired by news portals Cobrapost and Gulail purportedly featured Shah instructing Singhal to closely monitor the movements of the woman referred to in the report as “Madhuri” (not her real name).
Singhal was arrested by the CBI in February this year in connection with the 2004 Ishrat Jahan fake encounter and was recently released on bail. He was then posted as SP, ATS in Gujarat police. Shah was Minister of State for Home in Gujarat between 2003 and 2010. Shah was arrested in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case in 2010 and is out on bail, in charge of the BJP’s poll campaign in crucial Uttar Pradesh.
The two news portals, in a statement, claimed that Singhal — cooperating with CBI after his release — provided 267 audio recordings to the agency and this audio tape is part of this set.
The websites said “at this point of time, Gulail and Cobrapost have no means to independently verify these charges.”
The websites claimed that Modi had met this woman, then an architect from Bangalore whose parents were in Gujarat, in 2005 during a public function of Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation.
Hours after the tape was released, the woman’s father this evening said in a statement that his daughter had come to Ahmedabad when her mother was to undergo a surgery. She was required to commute at odd hours between the hospital and a nearby hotel which was a matter of concern to him.
He had, therefore, orally requested Modi, “with whom we have long-standing family relations” to “take care” of her. He was shocked that some “vested interests” were approaching the media in this regard, he said.
The news portals said that the tapes indicate that for at least over a month the Gujarat Police apparatus