Amit Shah snooping: Sign of misuse of state machinery in Gujarat?

While the Amit Shah snooping controversy got a new twist o Tuesday with the BJP producing and sharing a letter from the girl's father to the NCW asking for the girl's privacy to be maintained and any further investigation to be dropped, neither Shah nor Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi came out with any conclusive statement that might put the matter to rest.

 Amit Shah snooping: Sign of misuse of state machinery in Gujarat?

Amit Shah's silence has been striking in this matter. PTI

Speaking to Rajdeep Sardesai on a late night discussion show on CNN-IBN, Nirmala Prabhavalkar, Chairman of NCW, said on Wednesday, "Nobody (meaning the father or the girl) personally came to the commission. We are doubting the authenticity of the letter, " explaining that the letter was first leaked to the media and then reached them through an unofficial channel.

Adding fuel to this fire is the fact that th eletter bears no contact details for the father, who purportedly wrote the letter, nor for the girl.

"We have asked for the detailed version from the father. There is a mandate to appear before the commission if there is an inquiry," Prabhavalkar added.

The BJP however rubbished any call for an enquiry by invoking the letter that the father has written. Even if that were true, questions are being raised about the manner in which this whole surveillance exercise was conducted at the behest of the Gujarat government.

Senior lawyer Dushyant Dave said, "Gujarat is a state where women are respected and safe. It is amusing to find that this women was offered protection of Z-plus category that Modi himself must be enjoying.

"There is nothing to show that there are written records that the girl complained," he added. Moreover, according to him, the girl's father cannot file the complaint and ask for surveillance as this goes against the right to personal liberty.

Ranjana Kumari, Director of the Centre for Social Research highlighted another aspect of the controversy that is getting lost in the entire debate - the personal privacy of the girl. She said, "Sleaze is coming out from respectable politicians about this woman. This institution has been reduced to a body of the party-politics. She also have individual rights that are being violated."

And more importantly, this also raises questions about how the state machinery is being used in Gujarat.

"The state government has not come out with a clear written record on these complaints. The fundamental question is that of abuse of state power. Whom was she (the woman who was allegedly snooped on) afraid of - did the state machinery arrest those people?, "Dave said.

Updated Date: Nov 21, 2013 07:49:32 IST