HindustanTimes Wed,23 Jul 2014

Fewer Maharashtra terror cases in NIA’s kitty

Rajesh Ahuja, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 12, 2014
First Published: 23:37 IST(12/7/2014) | Last Updated: 23:44 IST(12/7/2014)

Fault lines over jurisdiction on terror probes between the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and state police forces have again come to the fore after Thursday’s Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in Maharashtra’s Pune.

“The NIA got to probe the February, 2013 blasts in Hyderabad and the Bodh Gaya and Patna serial blast cases from Bihar as well. But the Centre always hesitates in handing over any terror probe from Maharashtra. The only major probe the NIA has got from Maharashtra relates to Malegaon blasts of 2006 and 2008 wherein Hindu extremists are accused,” said a counter terror official requesting anonymity.

Sources said probes into the German Bakery blasts of Februay, 2010, Mumbai serial blasts of July, 2011 and Pune serial blasts of August 2012 were not handed over the NIA.

“What is point of having an agency like the NIA if cannot be involved in every terror case. It was created solely with the purpose of investigating terror cases after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks,” added the official.

So far, the NIA is yet to send its team to Pune to at least get a preliminary picture of the incident. As of now, all indicators are pointing towards Indian Mujahideen, say sources.

“IM was believed to be unhappy with the attachment of a flat of its alleged fugitive Mohsin Chaudhry in March this year by the NIA. Its top operatives like Riyaz Bhatkal and Mirza Shadab Beg have spoken about being in touch with 10 to 15 prospective recruits from Pune and targeting police. But these are only leads to work upon,” said an NIA official requesting anonymity.

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