Acres of land for Aigarh Jihadi University, But no basic infrastructure for NIA to probe Jihadi terrorism!

published on January 31, 2010

Kerala fails to provide NIA with facilities

VR Jayaraj | Kochi – Daily Pioneer

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had taken over the probes into six terror-related cases in Kerala more than a month ago but the Central agency is yet to get even the barest minimum facilities it requires for the smooth conduct of investigations. The agency is now thinking of approaching the Judiciary for direction to the State Government to get the required assistance and facilities, according to sources.

The NIA has requested the concerned State Government officials for the facilities at least twice within this period but the Home Department or the relevant district collectors have not responded positively. Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, a Politburo member of the CPI(M), had raised strong objections to the NIA takeover of the investigations in the terror cases.

According to the rules related to the NIA, the facilities for the agency’s investigations are to be provided by the government of the concerned state. The minimum facilities the state governments should give to the NIA are office space, required help from the state police and vehicles. The facilities the NIA has so far got in Kerala are a small one-room office in Kozhikode, where it is probing the twin blasts of 2006 in the city. It had also got the required vehicles there.

In the other cases, the direct requests made by the Additional Director General of the NIA to Kerala Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and Director General of Police are yet to bear fruit. Apart from the Kozhikode twin blasts case, the NIA is probing the recruitment of youth to the LeT, the Kalamassery bus-burning case, the secret SIMI conference at Panayikkulam, Aluva of 2006 and the SIMI training camp in Vagamon, Idukki in December, 2007.

There was confusion among the Kerala Government officials at the very beginning of the NIA probes over providing the facilities it required. The main problem was uncertainty over who would bear the cost of the facilities. The ADGP of the Central agency himself had clarified to the State Government that it would bear the costs.

As the State police are still not coming to help of the Central agency, its own personnel – who are not many – are running around to get witnesses for questioning. Also, they are facing problems like delay in getting important – but already prepared – documents like case diary files. The NIA has got the required files in the Kozhikode blasts and Kalamassery bus-burning cases.

However, senior officials in the Home Department said the concerned district collectors had already been instructed to provide the NIA officials with the facilities they required. They also said that the State Government had nothing against the NIA probes into the terror cases. However, information from the concerned district collectorates was that they were yet to get the instruction by letter, phone or fax from the Government.

The Kerala Government had termed as unilateral the decision of the Union Government for the NIA takeover of the terror cases in the State. Kodiyeri had criticized Union Home Minister over this asking why the NIA was not taking over more serious terror cases like the 26/11 Mumbai strike and the bomb blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

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