The ICMR’s top leadership has ‘tailored’ the agency’s findings on the spread of COVID-19 and its possible trajectory to suit PM Modi’s agenda and pressured scientists to downplay the threat posed by the pandemic, according to an @nytimes report.…
@nytimes Anup Agarwal, who worked with ICMR before resigning in October 2020, said that when he raised concerns about the ‘supermodel’ for how COVID-19 would progress in India to ICMR director-general Balram Bhargava, he was told it was “none of his concern”.…
@nytimes The ‘supermodel’, published in October in the ICMR-operated Indian Journal of Medical Research, predicted that the pandemic in India had passed its peak by September 2020.

ICMR fast-tracked its approval, Agarwal and other people told NYT.…
@nytimes Though the study was “picked apart” by experts, the agency may have fast-tracked it to support Modi’s eagerness to reopen the economy and begin the campaign for elections in Bihar, NYT suggests.…
@nytimes The report adds that politics began to influence ICMR’s approach “early last year”, beginning with the govt singling out the Tablighi Jamaat congregation for COVID-19’s spread in India.…
@nytimes Raman Gangakhedkar, who was then ICMR’s chief scientist, told NYT that he had expressed “anguish” over the government’s statements targeting Muslims.

Bhargava told him that the matter “should not concern him”.…
@nytimes The report also mentions three instances when ICMR’s top leadership disentangled the agency from studies that contradicted the government’s optimism and warned of a second wave.…
@nytimes Bhargava also directed scientists in late July 2020 to withhold data from the country’s first serological survey, which showed that infection rates were high in many cities.…

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More from @thewire_in

26 Jul
BREAKING | The phone number of the current chief of Bihar cricket, Rakesh Tiwary, considered close to those at the helm of cricket administration in India, has been identified in the leaked database analysed by the #PegasusProject, The Wire can confirm.…
Two phone numbers used by Tiwary were selected as possible candidates for surveillance in 2018 by an unknown client of the NSO Group, as per the leaked records, about a year before he became president of the Bihar Cricket Association.…
Tiwary’s rise in Indian cricket has been rapid, but at the time he was selected as a person of interest by an Indian agency that also uses Pegasus spyware, he was relatively unknown.…
Read 4 tweets
26 Jul
BREAKING | #PegasusProject Rajeshwar Singh, a senior ED officer who led several high-profile investigations was selected as a probable target for surveillance.

Also listed was V.K. Jain, a former IAS officer who worked for Delhi CM @ArvindKejriwal.…
@ArvindKejriwal Singh, a provincial police service officer (PPS) from Uttar Pradesh, has been with the ED since 2009, during which time he had served on the investigation of several sensitive cases such as the 2G spectrum scam and the Aircel-Maxis matter.…
@ArvindKejriwal A second number was listed around 2018, when two numbers registered to his wife are added, as are the numbers of his two sisters, one of whom, Abha Singh, is an IAS officer-turned-lawyer based in Mumbai.…
Read 14 tweets
26 Jul
BREAKING | #PegasusProject

Two serving colonels who challenged official policy, a retired intelligence officer who took RAW to court, and two serving BSF officers figure in the Pegasus Project database as persons of interest for an unidentified agency.…
Barely a month after K.K. Sharma, then head of the BSF, attended an RSS-affiliate’s event, his telephone numbers were added to the list.

It is not clear what the purpose of any potential surveillance might have been.…
If the Indian agency in question was interested in studying the extent to which Sharma actually sympathised with the RSS, whatever it learned about his leanings clearly did not disqualify him from a key post-retirement assignment.…
Read 16 tweets
24 Jul
BREAKING | #PegasusProject The telephone numbers of more than 60 women – homemakers, lawyers and school teachers, journalists, scientists, civil servants and even friends of politicians – figure in the leaked database of probable surveillance.…
Minal Gadling, the 48-year-old homemaker’s immediate concern was the extent to which her privacy could have been compromised.

“My phone is an integral part of me. I carry it everywhere, even to my bedroom,” she said. | @sukanyashantha…
@sukanyashantha Her husband, Surendra Gadling, was arrested in June 2018 and later arraigned in the ongoing Bhima Koregaon case.

The leaked database indicated that Gadling’s associate lawyer, Nihalsing Rathod, was marked as a probable target in early 2018.…
Read 9 tweets
24 Jul
LIVE | "We need India to understand that we know India is perpetrating terrorism against Pakistan in Pakistan and it is unacceptable," says Moeed Yusuf in conversation with Karan Thapar.

Watch the interview here:
LIVE | Moeed Yusuf, Pakistan's National Security Advisor, says reports of his meeting with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval are untrue.

Watch the interview here:
LIVE | "I would protect who made contact with Pakistan from the Indian side as that would reveal who really calls the shots in India and that's for Delhi to decide," says Moeed Yusuf to Karan Thapar.

Watch the interview here:
Read 7 tweets
23 Jul
BREAKING | #PegasusProject

More than 25 people from the Kashmir Valley were selected as potential targets of intrusive surveillance.

Forensic analysis revealed signs of Pegasus targeting in separatist leader Bilal Lone's phone data.…
Others on the leaked database include at least two members of People’s Democratic party (PDP) chief and former chief minister of J&K Mehbooba Mufti’s family.…
Their selection as potential targets of surveillance happened when Mufti was still CM and in a coalition with the BJP.

In fact, Mufti’s family members were chosen for potential surveillance just months before the government collapsed.…
Read 11 tweets

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