India has demanded the United States stop any spying activities and sought an explanation for alleged surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA) on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party.
American diplomats said they will investigate reports Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party was among six political groups the US spied on, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing Syed Akbaruddin, a spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs.
The report first appeared in the Washington Post which cited documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Bilateral relations plunged to their lowest in 15 years at the end of last year after an Indian diplomat was arrested in New York, strip-searched and charged with visa fraud for allegedly underpaying her babysitter.
The row threatened to jeopardize a growing economic relationship that has seen annual trade between the countries increase to nearly US$70 billion.
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki did not comment on the Indian demands but cited a directive from President Barack Obama signed in January requiring enhanced review of surveillance targets outside the US.
– Contact us at [email protected]