Srinagar, Jan 3 (SocialNews.XYZ) The National Investigation Agency (NIA) since its inception has played a pivotal role in breaking the backbone of terror networks across the country. In 2022 the NIA registered 73 cases and filed 59 charge sheets, and also arrested 456 accused, including 19 absconders.
During the past few years the NIA has emerged as a main player in fighting terror sponsors.
The premiere investigating agency has played a pivotal role in shattering the terror ecosystem in Jammu and Kashmir. The NIA has complemented the efforts of security forces to fight Pakistan sponsored terrorism by launching a massive crackdown against the unscrupulous elements in the Himalayan region.
The agency has destroyed the funding system of terrorists by choking the Hawala channels and by busting many modules that were involved in promoting violence in J&K.
After Narendra Modi took over as the Prime Minister of India in 2014, one of the major steps he took towards curbing terrorism was to empower the NIA.
During the past eight years, the agency has been at the forefront in the war against terror in the country, especially in Jammu and Kashmir.
The NIA has set a gold standard for itself by collecting concrete evidence in terrorism related cases. It has achieved a more than 90 per cent conviction rate.
The alertness of the NIA has blocked all the routes from which money used to reach the terrorists in J&K and has done a commendable job by registering cases against overground workers of terrorists, and in destroying their sleeper cells.
The NIA has been using technology, data and information to get hold of the culprits and nail them.
The agency has created a national database in seven areas, i.e., narcotics, hawala transactions, arms smuggling, counterfeit currency, bomb blasts, terror funding, and terrorism.
The vital information collected by the NIA is being shared with police and security agencies of all States and Union Territories to strengthen the anti-terrorism grid across the country.
The watertight cases filed by the NIA against the accused have led to the agency establishing its writ across the country and sending a message to terror supporters that they can't get away.
The NIA is becoming stronger with each passing day and it's being looked upon as a major anti-terrorism agency all over the world.
For its international role, the NIA has been given the authority to investigate any terrorist act outside India where an Indian casualty takes place.
Earlier the NIA could declare organisations as terrorist organisations, but now it can even declare individuals as terrorists. Till date the NIA has declared nearly 40 individuals as terrorists.
Just two months before the Centre revoked J&K's special status, the NIA in June 2019 dealt a severe blow to separatists by booking JKLF chief Yasin Malik, Democratic Freedom Party president Shabir Ahmed Shah, head of radical women organisation, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Asiya Andrabi and Masrat Alam of Muslim League in a terror funding case.
The case pertained to 2017 wherein charges were framed against terrorists belonging to Jamat ud Dawah, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and others for raising, receiving and collecting funds for funding separatist and terrorist activities in J&K, entering into a larger conspiracy for causing disruption in Kashmir and for waging war against India.
According to a report, Yasin Malik had admitted that he was instrumental in bringing together the disparate factions of Hurriyat Conference and formed the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), which spearheaded the violent agitations in 2016 in Kashmir by issuing "protest calendars" leading to economic shut down for over four months and violence on streets.
The report had claimed that Malik had admitted that the separatist groups collected funds from the business community as well as certain other sources and ensured that economic shutdown and violent protests continue to disrupt the daily life of common citizens in Kashmir.
Asiya Andrabi had revealed to NIA that she had been collecting funds and donations from foreign sources and Dukhtaran-e-Millat had been organising protests by women in the Valley.
Andrabi was confronted with evidence regarding funding of educational expenses of her son in Malaysia from 2011 onwards through foreign remittances made by Zahoor Watali - one of the main accused in the terror funding case and an influential businessman.
During the custodial interrogation, Shabir Shah was confronted with evidence relating to transfer of money by Pakistan based agents and representatives of Hurriyat factions to parties affiliated with the conglomerate.
He was also confronted about his investments in various hotels and businesses in Pahalgam, properties in Jammu, Srinagar and Anantnag.
Blows lid of terror funding channels
By the time Centre announced its decision to abrogate J&K's special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019, the NIA had tightened its noose over the separatists and the Pakistan stooges active in the Himalayan region by bringing to fore how they had destroyed Kashmir.
The transition of Jammu and Kashmir into a Union Territory proved to be a game changer as it led to all the central laws becoming applicable in the erstwhile princely state. The move allowed the NIA to expand the ambit of its investigations in J&K following which many skeletons tumbled.
The agency blew the lid from the terror funding channels and acted against all the separatists who were the direct beneficiaries of terror funding provided by Pakistan and a few other countries.
Crackdown on Jamaat
A crackdown was launched against banned Jamaat-e-Islami across J&K. The action led to seizure of incriminating material including laptops, cash books, cheque books and land documents registered in the name of Jamaat.
In South Kashmir's Shopian district authorities banned the entry and usage of nine properties belonging to Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) under section 7 of the unlawful activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
Properties worth Rs 90 crore belonging to Jamaat-e-Islami were sealed in Anantnag district. The sealed properties included residential houses, commercial complexes, orchards and land.
Formation of SIA
In November 2021, the Jammu and Kashmir government granted sanction for the creation of a new, specialised investigating body, the State Investigation Agency (SIA), on the lines of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
In one year the SIA cracked high-profile and sensational cases and struck at the very core of "operating software to the campaign of terrorism" in J&K.
The SIA since its inception has dealt with the cases of special nature and has been coordinating with NIA and other Central agencies for speedy and effective investigation and prosecution of all kinds of terrorism related cases. It has managed to do the task with an exceptional disposal rate.
The very first case that figured in the list pertained to the sale of MBBS seats by secessionist elements in connivance with Pakistani handlers. Following challan, the charges were framed against the accused, presently under trial.
The SIA aims to dismantle the ecosystem and infrastructure of terror networks. The agency investigated 450 cases of special nature with a disposal rate of 65 per cent generating tremendous fear among anti-peace elements within the first year of its inception.
The efforts put in by the NIA and SIA have pulled J&K out from the quagmire of uncertainty, chaos and confusion. The terror sponsors have turned bankrupt as the money has stopped flowing and the properties that were owned by them are being seized.
The steps being taken by the investigating agencies are helping the security forces to act tough against the terrorists and the process to put the last nail in the coffin of Pakistan sponsored terrorism has been expedited.
The ground situation in J&K has changed and terrorism like stone pelting, shutdowns and street protests is all set to become a history.
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