NIA gets to tackle Assam terror cases

June 1st, 2009 - 9:37 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) The National Investigation Agency (NIA), formed after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, will handle two terror incidents in Assam allegedly perpetrated in the North Cachar Hills by the Dima Halim Daogah (DHD) headed by Jewel Garlossa, a home ministry official said.
The DHD (Jewel) has unleashed a reign of terror in the areas of Cachar, North Cachar Hills, Karbi Anglong and Nagaon districts of the state, according to ministry officials.

A ministry statement said that two cases have been registered by the Assam Police in which cash amounting to over Rs.100 million, weapons and mobile phones had been recovered and a number of persons arrested.

“Preliminary investigations have revealed that the funds were meant for an underground group for procurement of arms and ammunition and other terrorist related activities,” the statement said.

Sources in the home ministry said that the DHD (Jewel) is known to have links not only with other Northeastern organisations, including the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-IM, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland but also with the likes of Pakistan’s ISI.

This will be a test case for the NIA, which was set up early this year and is headed by Radha Vinod Raju, a 1975-batch Indian Police Service officer. Home Minister P. Chidambaram was keen to operationalise the NIA and this was part of his 100-day agenda in his second stint in office.

“I have just got the order. Let us study the cases before I send my officers,” Raju told IANS.

Raju, a seasoned investigator, had led a team in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and was also involved in the investigation of the hijacking of the Indian Airlines plane from Kathmandu to Kandahar in Afghanistan.

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