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Shimla: Less than a day after the completion of a probe into the alleged mass phone tapping during the previous BJP regime in Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh yesterday said that the investigation would be handed over to the state vigilance and anti-corruption bureau.
“The government is going to hand over the probe to the vigilance and anti-corruption bureau,” the chief minister told reporters here.
“Strict action would be initiated against those officials who were involved in this act,”
“The privacy of certain political leaders was infringed upon. The number of phones tapped clearly indicated the malafide intention of the then government,” Singh said. He alleged that even his phones had been tapped and rooms bugged when he was in the opposition.
Singh said the names of people who were under surveillance would be made public after the probe.
The second and final report into the illegal phone tapping released, allegedly at the behest of the Prem Kumar Dhumal-led government, on Friday said 350 telephones were tapped in six months, ahead of the assembly elections November last year.
The total number of phones tapped, mainly of Congress leaders, government functionaries and journalists in violation of the Indian Telegraph Act, was over 1,100, said officials.
The reports, prepared by the state forensic science laboratory, were on the basis of data retrieved from seized computer hard disks of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and vigilance bureau.
Chief secretary Sudipto Roy told reporters here that the reports comprised conversations recorded during different periods.
He said the government would try to complete the probe into phone tapping within three months.