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Snooping row: NCW asks father to verify letter

November 20, 2013 22:47 IST

The National Commission for Women on Wednesday wrote to the father of the woman, who was allegedly put under illegal surveillance by Gujarat police at the behest of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to confirm the veracity of the letter.

"There is a lot of anonymity in the letter that was reportedly written by the woman's father. It did not have any email address, telephone or mobile number. We have written back to the postal address in the letter asking the woman's father to verify if it was written by him," NCW member Nirmala Samant Prabhavalkar told PTI.

She said the commission has given seven days to the woman's father to reply.

"Several facts are missing from the letter. We have asked the woman's father to provide us with more particulars related to the case. The matter is serious as the letter was handed over to a security guard at NCW by an anonymous person on Tuesday night who handed it over to us on Wednesday," she said.

Maintaining that the matter is serious and the commission is trying to probe further, Prabhavalkar said NCW has sent the letter to a Kutch address mentioned in the father's letter.

The NCW also wants to know if this is a family-related dispute as the woman has not spoken on the issue till now. NCW has also asked the Gujarat Government to probe the alleged snooping of a woman following instructions by former home minister of the state Amit Shah.

In the letter, the father has demanded that there was no need for any probe as there was no violation of privacy rights and this entire episode is being used for serving political ends.

In the letter, the father said that his daughter is an architect and married and does not want to be involved in any controversy. The letter also mentions that the woman needed protection.

Prabhavalkar said that the father should come to the forefront and clarify the matter.

"If they are correct, they should come to the forefront and clarify the things. Complaints to us are generally made personally, registered post, online or through fax, which are received by our staff. Here someone just gave the letter to a security guard, to be delivered to us which is not the procedure," she said, adding that the letter contains the name of the father and his signature.

She further added that even before they received the letter, the commission had written to Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde seeking a probe into the matter. At the Congress briefing, Mahila Congress chief Shobha Oza and party spokesman Randip Singh Surjewala dismissed the Bharatiya Janata Party’s contention that the matter should not be inquired by the NCW as there has been no complaint.

"There has been direct violation of fundamental human right for which Gujarat government is famous for. This is not an issue of any individual. This is a larger issue before the nation as to how a citizen can feel safe in the given circumstances," Oza said.

She said irrespective of the fact that there is no complaint by the concerned lady, "crime still remains a crime. It cannot be diluted. When it has come in public domain, it is not important whether a complaint was lodged or not."

Raising several queries, she sought to know whether the security was asked for by the woman in writing. "Was she provided the personal security or the government was involved. Three agencies were involved in the surveillance including the Anti-Terrorism Squad which is called in when there is a terrorist threat".

"Was that lady a terrorist or whether she had any connections with any terrorist?

Besides, she sought to know when surveillance was not only done in Gujarat only but outside Gujarat also could it be called security?  "Was any permission sought from the Home Secretary of the State? It is surprising that Shri Narerndra Modi and Shri Amit Shah who are in the habit of opening their mouth on every small issue, have not spoken on this issue," Oza asked.

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