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Congress condemns FIR against Tribune reporter

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Congress condemns FIR against Tribune reporter
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New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday condemned the lodging of an FIR against The Tribune daily and its reporter Rachna Khaira over Aadhaar data breach story and called it "witch-hunting" by the Narendra Modi government and "arrogance of power" at its worst.

After a January 3 news report by The Tribune over breach in Aadhaar data with a headline "Rs 500, 10 minutes, and you have access to billion Aadhaar details", the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has registered an FIR against the newspaper and reporter Rachna Khaira.

The Congress party said it was the Narendra Modi government's "arrogance of power" at its worst and their intention on privacy was thoroughly exposed and "right to privacy" is mocked and flouted with impunity.

The party also demanded that the government should take "The Tribune" story into cognisance and investigate the matter.

It also said that instead of being a responsive government, Modi government has become a dismissive government and an oppressive government, which has launched an "all-out attack against those who are highlighting the loopholes in the scheme".

"Intent and Intentions of Modi government on privacy were thoroughly exposed when it had proclaimed that no citizen can have an absolute right over his/her body," said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala on Twitter.

"In Supreme Court, Modi government had accepted Aadhaar data leak! Now instead of investigating, an evasive Modiji shoots the messenger!" he added.

Earlier, he tweeted: "Shoot the messenger, Ignore the message! This typifies the culture and character of BJP government.

"FIR against The Tribune reporter is arrogance of power at its worst," said Surjewala.

He also said: "Every Indian must condemn this mindless act of Modi government and UIDAI."

Congress spokesperson Shobha Oza, talking to the media, said: "As every citizen's personal information is exposed to hackers everyday and right to privacy is mocked and flouted with impunity, Modi government remains immune."

"Modi government has utterly failed to listen to the voices underlining critical flaws in AADHAAR with respect to privacy and breach of citizen's data.

"Instead of attacking the messenger, Modi government and the UIDAI should investigate the message," she added.

She also said the the BJP government has made a mockery out of AADHAAR by being evasive to some of the genuine concerns like its security, safety and alleged misuse.

"The government, instead of taking cognizance of the media report and investigating it further is indulging in dismissing it and launching a witch-hunt against the reporter.

"It is shocking that the BJP, called this news report 'fake' on the very day it was published, without even acknowledging a cause of concern and launching an investigation," said Oza.

Oza also said: "The perils of making AADHAAR mandatory for every scheme under the sun as insisted upon by Modi government is another aspect of this issue."

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