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Dhumal denies tapping charges; urges PM to order inquiry

Source: PTI
August 28, 2009 14:54 IST
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Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal denied phone tapping charges levelled against him by Union Minister Virbhadra Singh and urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to order a probe into the allegation on Friday.

"I urge the Prime Minister to order an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation or any other high agency into allegation of the union minister that his landline and mobile phones are being tapped by the state government and is haunted by a posse of CID sleuths deployed near his house here," Dhumal said in the state assembly. He said, "Singh is probably forgetting that telephone tapping can be done on the order of Telecom ministry which is under the Union Government and not the state". Dhumal said he would lodge a complaint with the Home Minister regarding the issue.

The Chief Minister said as per Singh's wish to increase security at his house in the capacity of a an ex-CM, a seven member police team under a head constable is deployed at his house. "If he does not require the security, the state government will be happy to withdraw it," he said. Dhumal said if the allegation is proved wrong, then the Prime Minister should initiate strict action against Singh. Singh had on Wednesday alleged that his telephones were being tapped by the state government and he was being hounded by state vigilance sleuths. 

The House witnessed a clash between the Congress and BJP members on the issue raised through a calling attention motion by BJP associate member Rakesh Pathania. Dhumal took a strong exception to the union minister's "undignified" comments that the hill state has been turned into a "police raj" under him. Refuting the charge, he sought to turn the tables against Singh saying he was still keeping state policemen for his security. He dismissed as baseless charges levelled by the union minister that he was hatching a conspiracy against him in an alleged bribery case about which a former Congress minister Vijay Singh Mankotia released the CD at a press conference at Dharamsala in 2007.

Singh went to the state High Court denying his voice in the CD, Dhumal said, adding everything happened when Congress was in power and Singh was the chief minister. Dhumal claimed that Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory, Chandigarh, a central government agency, has confirmed voice in the CD as that of Singh and added that if he has any objection to the CFSL report, he should approach the High Court.

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