BJP General Secretary Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said a “civil war” appeared to have broken out among India’s intelligence agencies to pass the buck over the Mumbai terror attacks.
Reacting to Hindustan Times’s front-page report that intercepts of India’s external intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), about an imminent terror strike on a Mumbai hotel were ignored, he said, “The edifice of the security set-up is on the verge of collapse because of the blame game between R&AW and the Intelligence Bureau (IB).”
“An atmosphere of distrust is building up. Till today, politicians were known to squabble but the security agencies, on whom the government depends, are fighting among themselves as if it is a civil war,” Jaitley said.
"So much, they are passing on details of their intercepts to newspapers to escape and fix responsibility on the other. We hope the prime minister steps in and takes a serious note," Jaitley added.
"The R&AW says it gave intercepts to the IB. The IB says it gave them to the navy, and the latter says it did not get actionable intelligence," he said. "This shows the political authority of the government is crumbling. Let not the last 100 days of the UPA government be a security nightmare for the people."
Jaitley said the BJP was also surprised by the government's talk of using the National Security Act against terrorism, instead of enacting a Pota-type law. "You can have a new anti-terror law by any other name," he said.
"But you can't use a preventive detention law like the National Security Act against terrorism. What you need is a law that punishes terrorism by allowing certain methods of investigation and evidence for quicker conviction," he added.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Abishek Manu Singhvi said, "I don't agree with the claims (made in the newspaper). We will have to check whether the report is factually correct."