New Delhi: In a major boost to the nation’s security, the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill 2019 which gives the anti-terror agency power to probe terrorist acts against Indians and Indian interests abroad.
The Bill seeks to allow the NIA to investigate offences on human trafficking, offences related to counterfeit currency or banknotes, manufacture or sale of prohibited arms, cyber-terrorism and offences under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.
During the hearing in the Rajya Sabha, Union Home Minister Amit Shah today cited Samjahuata blast case, saying “who is responsible that justice wasn’t served to the victims of Samjhauta Blast. Because it is not us.”
“7 were arrested for Samjhauta Blast. A case was created to connect the blasts to a specific religion, culprits were released & new ppl were arrested. How could’ve they received punishment, there was no evidence against them,” the Home Minister added.
Lok Sabha had passed the bill on July 15. Defending the bill, the Government had refuted opposition’s claims of “misuse” of the NIA law to target members of a community and asserted its only goal is to finish off terrorism. In an intervention during the discussion on National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Home Minister Amit Shah had said that Parliament should speak in one voice in giving powers to the NIA to send out a message to terrorists and the world.
Notably, the NIA was set up in 2009 in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack that had claimed 166 lives. Since 2017, the Union Home Ministry has been pushing for giving more power to the NIA to meet fresh challenges.