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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Lack of manpower, infrastructure leaves NIA gasping for breath

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 22, 2013
First Published: 01:18 IST(22/2/2013) | Last Updated: 02:25 IST(22/2/2013)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) -specifically created in 2009 after the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks to investigate terror cases - reels under a host of problems that includes lack of adequate infrastructure, database on terrorists and trained manpower.



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The only seeming success that NIA seems to have is in terms of a blast investigation was when it arrested accused involved in the Delhi High Court blast. But it still hasn't succeeded in arresting the planters in that attack. The NIA has not been instrumental in solving the German Bakery blasts in Pune, nor the Sheetla Ghat bombing at Varanasi in 2010, the 13/7 serial blasts in Mumbai, or the low intensity blasts at Pune last year.

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A team of NIA officials has once again been flown from Delhi to Dilsukh Nagar in Hyderabad - an unknown territory for NIA officials - to lead the blast investigations, added the officer. Two bombs kept on bicycles exploded, killing 11 persons and injuring atleast 50 others.

A senior NIA officer, requesting anonymity said, "We still are groping in the dark, as we do not have a database of suspects or the entire list of designated terrorists wanted in India."

Apart from the fact that most of the state governments are reluctant to let its own police officers join NIA, the nodal federal agency has met with little or limited success because of the scathing turf war it ends up having with the Intelligence Bureau and state Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) units.

An IPS officer, working with a counter-terrorism unit, said, "In most instances sharing of information is limited within the agencies, and crucial information - which can be transformed into operational intelligence - is not passed on."

The wings of NIA has also been clipped because it has not been given the mandate to conduct classic traps and stakeouts to nab terror suspects, a manner in which many foreign agencies like FBI in the US, or the Shin Bet works in tandem with Mossad in Israel, added the officer.

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