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National Investigative Agency becomes a reality

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | December 31, 2008 15:59 IST
Last Updated: December 31, 2008 18:39 IST

The National Investigative Agency Bill and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill on Tuesday became a law as President Pratibha Patil [Images] gave her assent to those legislations which were passed in the last session of Parliament.

Home Minister P Chidambaram [Images] told reporters that the presidential assent has been received today.

"The regulations have come into effect from today," Chidambaram said.

He said the NIA will get its Director General in a few days. A K Singh, an IPS officer currently with the Border Security Force, is tipped to become the first chief of of the NIA.

"NIA will be established to investigate terrorist offences. As and when any case is assigned to the NIA, it will take up investigation," he said.

Our MPs blocked the NIA 8 months ago

"The Multi Agency Centre that was established as the nodal centre on all intelligence relating to terrorism has not fully achieved its objectives," he admitted.

"We have established a new and mutually beneficial arrangement under which all agencies share intelligence on a real time basis," he explained.

Asked if he had met the chiefs of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Interpol, he said he had met the latter and "I told him that the Mumbai terror attack is under investigation. It is not obligatory to give evidence to the Interpol chief."

A committee of two retired high court judges will go though the evidence collected in the Mumbai terror attack probe and decide whether the evidence is good enough for prosecution, he informed the mediapersons.

"I don't think this will delay the trial," stated the Home Minister.

Chidambaram told mediapersons that the work is in progress to set up 20 counter insurgency and anti-terrorism schools in the country which will train personnel to tackle cases involving terrorists.

The Home Minister also announced that a round the clock information gathering and sharing centre on terrorism has come into effect from today.

He said the Ministry will soon bring before the Cabinet a note on establishing National Security Guards hubs in four main cities of the country and more such hubs will be set up in other cities as well.

Asked about the cooperation from Pakistan in investigation of Mumbai terror attacks [Images], Chidambaram said, "They are in a state of denial. Everything that we will give will be denied."

Attack on Mumbai

He said the father of Ajmal Kasab [Images], the lone surviving terrorist in the Mumbai attack, has appeared on the television saying that he (Kasab) is his son.

"Kasab himself has written to the Pakistan government seeking legal help. What more evidence does Pakistan need," he said.

Chidambaram said new appointments will be made in paramilitary forces for the new NSG hubs coming up in the four cities.

On the execution of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru, he said the ministry was examining the case.

"There are 27 persons on death row. Afzal Guru is one among them. We are examining it," he said.

Asked about the Home Ministry's course of action in the cash-for-vote scam case, which was referred to it by the Lok Sabha Speaker, he said the ministry will look into the reportĀ and decide on how to go about it.

He said he was 'not aware' whether the report has reached the Ministry.

With additional reportage from PTI

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