The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Saturday wrote to the Election Commission alleging that the Intelligence Wing of the Tamil Nadu Police has hacked the phones of its leaders, reported ANI.

The Opposition party claimed that “highly placed sources in the police” informed them that its leaders’ phones were being monitored in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls.

“We have been informed by our sources in the government and police department that Tamil Nadu State Intelligence Wing headed by Inspector General of Police Thiru. Senthilvelan, IPS, has been using an illegal phone interception / hacking software manufactured by an Israeli firm to target opposition leaders in Tamil Nadu,” the state Opposition party’s legal secretary IS Inbadurai claimed in his complaint.

The party also claimed that the police had acquired the software, which costs around Rs 40 crore, in an “off-the-books purchase”.

“The state intelligence is monitoring the mobile phones of our party's senior leaders, their Personal Assistants, and Drivers,” Inbadurai said. “The state intelligence is directly functioning under the control of Tamil Nadu chief minister and DMK [Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam] party chief Thiru MK Stalin.”

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam accused Senthilvelan of sharing stolen information about its electoral strategies to the Tamil Nadu chief minister. The party urged Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo to take action against the police officers involved in the alleged phone hacks citing breach of privacy.

The party’s complaint also cited an April 11 report about technology company Apple warning several of its users in India and 91 other countries that their iPhones may have been targeted by “mercenary spyware”, including the controversial Pegasus software by the Israeli NSO Group.