NIA chief appointed, will not probe 26/11 attacks

January 15th, 2009 - 3:49 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) The government Thursday appointed Radha Vinod Raju, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, to head the newly appointed National Investigation Agency (NIA) and clarified that the Mumbai terror probe would not be handed to the agency as it was progressing on course.”The immediate task of the NIA is building a dedicated core group of investigating officers. Trained personnel will be taken on deputation initially,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

“The Mumbai terror attack investigation is well on track and there is no need for the NIA to take over.”

The home minister also pointed out that the core group would train and deploy other officers in due course and the ground staff for NIA would be drawn from central police organisations as well as various state police on deputation.

Work on recruiting ground staff for the organisation would now get off the ground with the appointment of Raju, a Jammu and Kashmir cadre IPS officer of 1975 batch who was a key member of the team that probed the 1991 assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Presently posted as the head of Jammu and Kashmir’s anti-corruption organisation, Raju has held various important postings during his tenure.

The NIA is the new federal agency approved by the government to combat terror in India. It will be empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states.

Other than offences of terrorism, it will deal with counterfeit currency, human trafficking, narcotics or drugs, organised crime (extortion mobs and gangs), plane hijacking and violations of the Atomic Energy Act and Weapons of Mass Destruction Act.

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