Reported By: Ankur Sharma
Last Updated: September 25, 2023, 20:33 IST
Amid a spiralling diplomatic tussle between India and Canada over the issue of Khalistani separatists, the union home ministry has given a massive boost to anti-terror body National Investigation Agency (NIA), clearing the creation of posts of an additional director general (ADG) and six inspector generals (IGs). The NIA is also probing cases related to gangsters and the Khalistani network.
According to an official communication, the ministry has said that the NIA had proposed to create these posts in 2021 and 2022. “Posts of 1 Additional Director General and 6 Inspector General at Pay level in pay matrix Level-15 Level-14” have been approved by the ministry.
Sources said that the approval has been accorded by top government authorities to give more teeth to the investigating agency.
The NIA currently has four IGs who deal with terror financing, the Northeast, investigation, and policy. They each have a team of at least two deputy inspector general (DIG) and four superintendent of police level officers. They all report to an ADG who reports to the director general (DG).
An NIA team was supposed to fly to Canada over matters related to fugitive gangsters and Khalistanis, said sources. After the diplomatic tussle between India and Canada, the NIA on Sunday released a list of 19 fugitive Khalistani terrorists residing in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Dubai, Pakistan, and other countries. The agency is likely to confiscate the properties of these individuals.
The development comes a day after the NIA confiscated the properties of designated terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, a member of the banned pro-Khalistani group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ).
According to reports, the action against the 19 fugitives will be taken under anti-terror law UAPA. They have been accused of running anti-India propaganda from abroad.
“The National Investigation Agency aims to be a thoroughly professional investigative agency matching the best international standards. The NIA aims to set the standards of excellence in counter-terrorism and other national security-related investigations at the national level by developing into a highly trained, partnership-oriented workforce. NIA aims at creating deterrence for existing and potential terrorist groups/individuals. It aims to develop as a storehouse of all terrorist-related information,” the agency says.