Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday, while inaugurating the NIA office in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur, said that the Centre has “left no stone unturned” in strengthening the anti-terror probe agency, while also reaffirming the government’s “zero-tolerance policy” towards terrorism and left-wing extremism.
He further emphasized that the laws that are against the activities that support terrorism have to be strengthened, and the target to achieve a 100 per cent conviction rate has to be set.
The Home Minister lauded the NIA for establishing itself as a “prime anti-terror agency” in the world, while also setting a target of achieving a 100 per cent conviction rate, which currently stands at 94.23 per cent.
Shah mentioned the government’s efforts to strengthen the NIA and said that as part of it, it has shared “terrorism-related information” to the states “irrespective of the political party” in power.
“We’ve zero-tolerance toward left-wing extremism and terrorism. We have left no stone unturned in strengthening NIA. As part of our zero-tolerance policy against terrorism, we have made every possible effort to share terrorism-related information with the states irrespective of the political party. The laws that are against the activities that support terrorism have to be strengthened, and the target to achieve a 100 per cent conviction rate has to be set. The NIA has achieved success in bringing up the conviction rate that had slipped to 75 per cent in 2014 to 94.23 per cent,” he said while addressing the event in which Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel was also present.
Stating that peace can be seen in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370, Shah highlighted the crackdown on terror funding in the Valley, adding that the NIA has come down heavily on those involved in the activity.
“We have tried to free Kashmir from terrorism completely after the formation of our government at the Centre. Peace is seen in the region after the abrogation of Article 370. We can see the absolute power of our agencies in controlling terror activities today,” he said.
“An important reason behind this is that the NIA acted severely against those involved in terror funding in 2018, 2019 and 2020. 105 such cases were registered and 876 accused have been arrested,” Shah added while also mentioning that the charge sheet has been filed in 94 out of the 105 cases registered.
The Home Minister also spoke of the government’s commitment to “uproot the left-wing extremism”, and said that there has been a decline of incidents of extremism by 77 per cent in 2021 since 2014.
“The Modi government has pledged to uproot the left-wing extremism also which has now narrowed down to very few districts. In 2009, 2258 incidents had taken place. There has been 77 per cent decline in the incidents in 2021 which came down to 509,” he said.
Praising the probe agency for establishing a “benchmark” in a short period of time, the Home Minister said that it has become a prime anti-terror investigation agency in the world.
“NIA wasn’t established long back. It takes time for any agency to rise, prove its worth, to establish its systems and to deliver results after its establishment. But the NIA has established a benchmark in every aspect and has, in a way, been recognised as a prime anti-terror investigation agency in the world in a short period of time,” he said.
“I believe that the NIA has achieved success in fulfilling all the aims of its establishment with dignity,” Shah added.
On the occasion, the Home Minister detailed the branches of the NIA opened in various states of the country and said that the government aims at opening its branch in every state before the commencement of the next General elections in 2024.
“NIA has expanded its reach in various states in the past few years like Chandigarh in 2019, Ranchi, Imphal and Chennai in 2020, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Patna, Bhopal and Bhubaneswar in 2022. The NIA has strengthened its existence in 18 states in three years and branches have been opened. We have made a plan to open the branch of NIA in every state of the country before May 2024, that is, the next General elections in the country in 2024,” he said.