A DAY after the J&K Home Department issued orders to set up a State Investigation Agency (SIA) to work as a “nodal agency” for coordinating with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other central agencies in terror-related cases, political parties in the Union Territory questioned the need to constitute a new agency. They alleged that new agency will be used to “repress” the people of J&K further.
“The only progress GOI made post 5th August has been creating more tools of state suppression to intimidate people into submission & silence. As if ED, CBI, NIA & anti-terror laws weren’t enough, we now have SIA with sweeping powers & impunity to repress people further in J&K,” tweeted Mehbooba Mufti, former chief minister and PDP president.
People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration termed the creation of the SIA, a measure aimed at strengthening the “repressive apparatus” in the region. PAGD spokesperson and CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said the formation of one more agency empowered with “unbridled powers” is “one more assault” on democratic rights and civil liberties of citizens. “In the name of fighting terrorism, these agencies and laws are being weaponised against the citizens who hold a different viewpoint from the government,” he said.
National Conference spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said that a week after Home Minister Amit Shah spoke about extending a hand of friendship, “they are adding more institutions to intimidate the people of Kashmir”. These are “signs that the government is not sure of the situation on the ground in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.