New Delhi, Oct 12: The Ministry for Home Affairs is in the process of expanding the scope of the National Investigation Agency in a bid to give it power to probe terror attacks on Indians living abroad.
The Ministry for Home Affairs has agreed that the NIA ought to be given the powers to probe terror attacks on Indians abroad.
The power to probe cases outside the country where their citizens are concerned is currently there with the FBI. This power gives the agency to launch a parallel probe into terror attack concerning their citizens. For instance, a parallel probe was launched by the FBI into the Mumbai 26/11 attack as American citizens were killed in the attack.
NIA can launch parallel probes:
Once the Home Ministry clears this proposal, a team of NIA officials can visit any country and launch a parallel probe into a terror strike. However, the jurisdiction of the probe will be limited only to Indian citizens who have been affected as a result of the terror attack. For instance if Indians are killed in an attack in a foreign land, the NIA will dispatch a team of its officials to probe the attack.
Such powers would come handy especially when the Indian embassies are attacked or officials killed. Take for instance the bombing of the Indian consulate in Heart, Afghanistan.
The probe was conducted by the Afghanistan agencies. India would however want to send the NIA for such probes as there is a clarity relating to the investigation and the reasons behind the attack can be ascertained better.
Limited only to Indians:
At no point in time will the probe by the NIA on a foreign land interfere with the ongoing investigation in that respective country. The NIA team visiting the country would coordinate with the local investigating team and gather data required for the probe. Such a probe would help the NIA gather a data base and also study the pattern of the attack.
Understanding the pattern in any terror strike would help India in wading away future attacks. In most cases, the information about attacks specific to Indians is very slow in coming by. Moreover local issues also come into play and not always is there a fair probe. However if the NIA is awarded this power then it would go a long way and be extremely helpful for India's war on terror.
At the moment the NIA does not have the power to probe into cases outside the country even if Indians are targeted in a terror strike. The NIA along with the external intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing would depend heavily on the respective country for information.