Former officials of the armed and security forces, intelligence agencies, NITI Aayog and a junior official in the Prime Minister’s Office have been named in the database investigated by 17 international media platforms as potential targets of snooping using the Pegasus spyware. The Wire, which is the Indian partner of the investigative project, reported the names of these former officials on Monday.
Among the names is that of K K Sharma, who was added to the list of potential targets in early 2018, when he was heading the BSF.
“In the absence of digital forensics, it is not possible to establish whether Sharma was subjected to an attempted hack or infection. But the fact that the leaked records include three phone numbers used by him, two of which he still uses after his retirement in 2018, indicate he was very much a person of interest to the Indian client of the NSO Group during the time he was in service as BSF chief,” the report said.
After his retirement from BSF, Sharma was appointed by the Election Commission as the special central police observer for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections for West Bengal and Jharkhand, to which TMC had objected.
Another senior BSF officer was added to the list around the same time. Jagdish Maithani was the BSF commandant posted in Assam and “appears to have been of considerable interest to an Indian client of NSO between 2017 and 2019”.
The numbers of a former senior officer with the Research and Analysis Wing and his…