Monsanto officials were under surveillance: Report | India News

NEW DELHI: Monsanto officials were allegedly under surveillance in 2018 when the BJP government in Maharashtra was probing the Bt cotton seed network, a web portal said in its latest revelations on the Pegasus spyware controversy.
The report in ‘The Wire’ said the then Maharashtra government had set up a special investigation unit to investigate firms that were allegedly selling or releasing unapproved herbicide-tolerant (HT) transgenic cotton, or Bt cotton, seeds in the state. “A few months prior to the formation of the SIT, in October 2017, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had also set up the Field Inspection and Scientific Evaluation Committee (FISEC), under the department of Biotechnology, to probe the proliferation of unlawful seeds,” the report said. Former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis has said no illegal surveillance took place when he was in office. “In 2018, as both probes continued, the phone numbers of six officials from Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) Pvt. Lt and Monsanto India were selected as possible candidates for surveillance, investigations under the Pegasus Project e revealed,” according to the web portal.
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel on Wednesday claimed his government has authentic information that representatives of NSO, which manufactures the spyware, had visited the state in a secret mission when it was being governed by BJP, according to ‘The Wire’ report. Baghel was quoted as saying that officials had gone to the state when Raman Singh was CM and met “some people”.

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