An India-based government agency has reportedly made hacking attempts on phones of over 25 Hurriyat leaders hailing from Indian-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK) between 2017 and mid-2019. The agency is also believed to be a client of Israeli company NSO Group. Other than Delhi-based Kashmiri journalists, over 25 people from IOJK were selected as potential targets of intrusive surveillance, according to leaked record reviews by Indian investigative news website The Wire. Amnesty International and the France-based journalism non-profit, Forbidden Stories accessed a massive list of 50,000 numbers that are believed to have been selected as potential targets of surveillance by 10 states. As many as 16 media houses across the world received these records and worked in tandem to investigate the scope of this intended or actual surveillance over several months in an initiative termed the Pegasus Project. The Wire was then able to conduct forensic analysis on the phones of two Hurriyat leaders-Bilal Lone and the late Syed Ali Shah Geelani. However, the Israeli firm has denied that the records accessed by the Pegasus Project have anything to do with surveillance. Lone had formed a political outfit of his own, the Peoples Independent Movement, before the government of India revoked IOJK’s special status in August 2019. “I used to hear rumours about phone tapping. It never occurred to me that I also may be a target. But I am too small a person to do anything about it,” said Lone. According to the Wire’s report, Geelani’s phone showed signs of Pegasus spyware activity between February 2018 and January 2019. The days and months in which the infection was detected on his phone match with his appearance in the leaked data. At least two members of IOJK’s former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s family were also included in the leaked database. The selection as potential targets of surveillance happened when Mufti was still chief minister of the erstwhile state. Mufti declined to comment when asked if she thought there was a link. The brother of the politician, who is now close to BJP, was also selected. J&K Apni Party president Altaf Bukhari’s brother Tariq Bukhari also makes an appearance on the list. At least four members of Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s family, including his son-in-law, Iftikhar Gilani and his son Syed Naseem Geelani, were of interest to the Indian client of the NSO group between 2017 and 2019. Naseem said that he feels that he could have been a target of potential surveillance because of the political views of his father. The unprecedented leak also shows that the current head of the Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was a potential target of surveillance between 2017 and 2019. The records reveal that Farooq’s driver too had possibly been a target of surveillance. A senior aide of Farooq’s said he was disturbed that his fundamental rights have been put at stake. Waqar Bhatti, a prominent human rights activist from IOJK, was also potentially a target of surveillance. Bhatti believes that he was possibly marked due to his activism. The telephone number of a highly-regarded Delhi-based civil society critic of the government’s Kashmir policy also features in the database for 2018 and 2019.