NEW DELHI: After the government decided to remove Alok Verma as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief, his three phone numbers were allegedly noted by an unnamed agency which was known to be a user of the Pegasus spyware, a web portal said in a report on Thursday.
‘The Wire’ reported that “along with Verma, the personal telephone numbers of his wife, daughter and sonin-law would eventually get placed on the list too, making it a total of 8 numbers from this one family”.
The report also said that the numbers of two other senior CBI officials — Rakesh Asthana, a Gujarat cadre IPS officer and A K Sharma — were added to the alleged database. Asthana now heads the Border Security Force. “NSO insists the leaked database has nothing to do with the company or with Pegasus. Verma was unwilling to participate in this story, so forensics on the telephones linked to him — the only way of conclusively establishing whether they were targeted or infected with Pegasus — could not be carried out,” said the report. The website said the phone numbers of Asthana, Sharma, Verma and his family members figured in the leaked database for a short period.