New Delhi: Opposition parties attacked the Modi government after Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials were caught snooping outside CBI Director Alok Verma's home earlier on Thursday calling it an attempt to "intimidate dissent".
Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asked if the PMO "is trying to meddle with an ongoing investigation and snooping to intimidate dissent."
He said that snooping and keeping surveillance on opponents have been the nature of the government.
"Its extremely worrying and alarming to find that IB officers are snooping and keeping an eye on officers sent on leave," Kharge said adding "one must answer publicly as to what are the reasons behind this snooping."
"Is the PMO scuttling the probe with the sole aim of preventing the truth of the reported corruption in Rafale fighter jets purchase... Is the PM trying to scare the dissenting voice of an officer and giving message of similar consequences to others?" Kharge said in his letter to Modi.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also raised questions on the incident.
"Another Snoopgate ? Who's steering this ?" tweeted AAP, referring to a video where security is taking away the IB officials outside Verma's residence.
Former deputy CM of Bihar and RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav accused the government of "spying and snooping",.
Asserting that CBI and IB were on "infiltrating spree" for the benefit of the PM on directions of PMO, he asked "Did PM take oath to protect the privacy and freedom of its citizens or deliberately violate it through eavesdropping?"
He said that while character assassination of opposition leaders was not enough, the central government made IB and CBI to mess with each other.
Congress Spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi termed the incident a result of government's fear and frustration of being exposed in Rafale deal.
"Absolute fear and frustration which is the only reason you are indulging in snooping, surveillance and spying," Singhvi said.