The tapes indicate that for at least over a month the Gujarat Police apparatus used its sweeping powers to rigorously monitor every private moment, every personal conversation and every daily movement of Madhuri. Singhal has told the CBI that the surveillance was illegal and was carried out only on the oral instructions of Shah. The recordings reveal that Madhuri was tailed even as she visited shopping malls, restaurants, ice-cream parlours, gyms, cinema halls, hotels and airports. She was followed even when she visited her ailing mother in a hospital in Ahmedabad. When she boarded a flight out of Ahmedabad, orders were issued to put cops on the flight so that she was not out of sight even when she was flying. Strict orders were given to closely observe and profile those who met her. Shah was particularly interested in knowing the men she was meeting and whether she was alone or with some man when she checked into a hotel in Ahmedabad. Her phones and that of her family and friends were tapped. Every bit of information was conveyed to Shah in real time, who in turn claimed to be relaying it to his ‘saheb’. Listening to the conversations leaves no doubt that the people involved in the operation knew who this ‘saheb’ was. Such was the importance attached to the surveillance operation that many senior state police officials were instructed to personally supervise the movements and activities of the woman. Besides Singhal, who was at that time posted as a Superintendent of Police with the ATS, the then IG (Intelligence) A.K. Sharma, the then Deputy SP (CID Intelligence) DB Vaishnav and then DCP (Crime) Abhay Chudasama were some of the other senior officers who were roped in for the operation. At present, Sharma is posted as Joint Commissioner of Crime in Ahmedabad city. While Vaishnav has retired, Chudasama is cooling his heels in jail on charges of stage-managing the Sohrabuddin Shaikh encounter. The phone recordings in possession of the CBI primarily contain conversations between Singhal and Shah. Some conversations are between Singhal and other state police officers such as A.K. Sharma, Vaishnav and the then Bhavnagar SP Rajendra Asari. All conversations were recorded by Singhal between August 4, 2009 and September 6, 2009. At many places in the tapes, Shah can be heard complaining that Singhal’s men were not doing a thorough job as ‘saheb’ was obtaining information about her movements from his independent sources and his information network was at times more efficient than that of Shah.In a welcome, but astonishing development, the BJP, that has so far made a fine art out of claiming allegations without evidence as proof of innocence, immediately released a statement by the girl’s father accusing Gulail and Cobrapost of exploiting a family matter and stating that it was he who had asked Chief Minister Narendra Modi, whom he knew personally, to “take care” of his daughter while she visited Gujarat. The sinister sub-text here is that the BJP (who released the letter) sees nothing wrong with state resources and state funds being deployed in illegal surveillance of a citizen to serve personal connections. But the obsessive attention to details by the “saheb” who now turns out to be the Chief Minister cannot be merely explained by someone doing a favor to a family friend. So this release by BJP establishes several things:
- The “saheb” Amit Shah repeatedly refers to as having an interest in every detail about the girl is none other than Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
- Narendra Modi and his sidekick Amit Shah deployed state resources for illegal stalking of a woman.
- Narendra Modi and Amit Shah spied on her personal life and that of men she interacted with, including in at least one instance orders to prevent a man from going to Mumbai after she took a flight there and one instance of instructions to jail him if needed. None of this official, or related to any interest of the state.
- Phones of Madhuri and her family and friends were illegally tapped to serve the interests of a private citizen without any official procedure, reason or record.