ISLAMABAD    -   The Indian government led by Hin­du nationalist Prime Minister Nar­endra Modi, which had acquired Is­rael-made spyware Pegasus as part of a weapon purchase deal in 2017, is using it to witch-hunting of the po­litical leaders, human rights activists and journalists.

Richmond-based gastroenterol­ogist, Dr Lokesh Vuyurru, an In­dian-American doctor, has moved a lawsuit in the US court against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, and business tycoon Gautam Adani on a host of is­sues, including spying of the politi­cal figures along with other Indians through use of Pegasus spyware.

The US District Court for the Dis­trict of Columbia issued summons to all these leaders, along with several others on September 1, which were served on them in India.

Earlier this year, when the New York Times reported that India had acquired Pegasus from Israel as part of a defence deal in 2017, it stirred heated debate in the Indian parlia­ment; creating a political storm over fresh allegations that Prime Min­ister Narendra Modi’s government bought Israel-made Pegasus spy­ware to snoop on its critics.

According to leading Indian media outlets, the Hindu and the Wire and international TV channels like the BBC and Al Jazeera, the opposition parties had accused the Indian gov­ernment of lying to the parliament and misleading the house.

The main opposition Congress, early this year called for a ‘privi­lege motion’ in parliament – used in instances when members were accused of committing a breach of privilege – against Information and Technology Minister Ashwini Vaish­naw for ‘deliberately misleading the House’. “The government, on the floor of the House, always main­tained that it had nothing to do with the Pegasus spyware and it never bought the spyware from the NSO Group… in light of the revelations… it appears that the Modi government has misled the parliament and the Supreme Court,” Congress’ leader in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowd­hury, wrote in a letter to the Speaker, the Indian media said. Last year, In­dian media outlet ‘The Wire’ report­ed that some 160 Indians, includ­ing prominent activists, lawyers and politicians, were spied on using the Pegasus malware.