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Terrorism is biggest human rights violation, Modi govt has zero-tolerance police: Amit Shah on NIA day

Speaking at an event marking the 13th National Investigation Agency (NIA) day in New Delhi, Shah said that the Modi government had adopted a “zero-tolerance policy” on terrorism.

Written by Deeptiman Tiwary | New Delhi |
Updated: April 21, 2022 1:30:33 pm
Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses the 13th National Investigation Agency (NIA) Day programme at Dr Ambedkar International Centre, in New Delhi, Thursday, April 21, 2022. (PTI)

Fighting terrorism can’t be contradictory to the protection of human rights as nothing violates human rights like terrorism, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Thursday.

“Terrorism is a curse for any civilised society. And no one has suffered due to it as much as our country. I have had my differences with human rights organisations about the angle they take on the issue. Whenever there is a counter-terror operation, these organisations come up with the issue of human rights. But I believe there is nothing that violates human rights as much as terrorism. So fighting terrorism cannot be contradictory to protection of human rights. To end terrorism from its roots is a necessity for protection of human rights,” Shah said during an event to celebrate the 13th Foundation Day of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Shah said that the Modi government had adopted a “zero-tolerance policy” on terrorism. He lauded the efforts being made to root out terrorism in the Jammu and Kashmir region. “In the field of terrorism, it is one thing to fight terror and terrorists and another to uproot terrorism itself. And if we want to do that we will have to destroy the terror-funding infrastructure. In 2018-19, the cases of terror funding that NIA registered in Jammu and Kashmir have helped in uprooting terrorism. Until now, our agencies had not struck on these means of terror-funding that looked innocuous. After NIA registered the cases, the easy ways of terror funding are not available to terror groups. We may not be able to end it altogether, but we can make it difficult,” he said.

In 2020-21, the NIA registered several cases against over-ground workers (OGWs) of terror groups and has been successful in destroying many sleeper cells.

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“This has dealt a severe blow to the logistics and weapons supply of terror groups. And those who used to live in the society with respect despite supporting terrorism, have been exposed by the NIA and produced before the law,” Shah said.

Highlighting that the NIA has now taken over some cases of funding of the Maoist movement, Shah said that he hoped the agency would achieve the same success that it has managed to achieve in Kashmir.  According to the MHA, in matters of terror funding, a total of 105 cases have been registered by the NIA, with 94 cases involving 876 accused being chargesheeted. As many as 100 accused have been convicted.

Shah said that the government was committed to bringing reforms in the country’s investigative traditions. “Investigations can no more depend on third degree (torture of suspects). Investigation should depend on technique, data and information. If we want to bring this reform, we will need to create databases and have expertise in digital forensics,” Shah said.

He went on to say that in one of the meetings held recently, the NIA was given the task of creating a database on psychotropic substances, hawala transactions, arms smuggling, fake currency, bomb blasts, terror funding, and terrorism.

“It has begun well. If we share this database with agencies of all states and add the information they have to the database, it will not only help central agencies but also all the states. If data is in silos, it is garbage. The current situation on databases in the country is not satisfactory,” Shah said adding that NIA should have live communication with all specialised counter-terror agencies in states.

He said the government had created a modus operandi bureau in which the NIA has been directed to assist BPR&D in studying the modus operandi behind terror groups recruiting the youth.

Shah added that since 2014, the government has taken many steps to strengthen the NIA which included strengthening of the NIA Act and the UAPA Act. The NIA must work towards being recognised as an international agency, he said.

“To develop NIA on the lines of other such strong counter-terror agencies in the world, a cell of two experts has been set up,” Shah said.

He said the government is making every effort to have coordination between agencies and state police on information related to terrorism and to strengthen counter-terror laws. “Counter-terror agencies must be strengthened and we must have goal of 100% conviction in terror cases,”he said.

“Our success should not be measured in terms of cases. It should be consolidated as a tradition. Our success should not be individual but institutional. A mechanism should be worked out to institutionalise the tradition,” he said.

Reiterating that the Modi government has zero tolerance towards terrorism, Shah said, “Today India is progressing. We are in a position that the goals of the world cannot be achieved without India. So it is important that India’s internal security remains strong. If we have to achieve the goal of USD 5 trillion economy, it is important that we ensure India is secure internally.”

Earlier NIA DG Kuldiep Singh informed that the agency has registered around 400 cases since its inception. In 349 cases, chargesheets have been filed. As many as 2,494 people have been arrested of which 391 have been convicted with the agency clocking a conviction rate of 93.25%.

 

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