NIA gets its first two cases

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), set-up following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, is getting operationalised as of today.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in consultation with the Law Ministry, today decided to hand over the investigations of first two cases to the NIA.

Both the cases pertain to the terror incidents in Assam perpetrated by the Dima Halim Daogah (DHD), headed by Jewel Garlossa, in North Cachar Hills. The DHD (Jewel) has unleashed terror in areas of Cachar, North Cachar Hills, Karbi Anglong and Nagaon districts of Assam.

Sources in the home ministry said that the DHD (Jewel) is known to have links not only with other Northeastern outfits, including NSCN (IM) and NDFB but also with the likes of ISI and ULFA.

It is also known to get funds from dubious international sources. "The cases involving the DHD (Jewel) are fit cases for the NIA since they involve getting to know the source of funding and terror links abroad,'' disclosed an official.

They are also going to be test cases for the fledgling NIA, giving the agency a chance to get its infrastructure and technical apparatus in place. "We will know what all problems the agency faces when it actually starts investigating the cases, and then we will overcome them as we encounter them," the official added.

The NIA, having a sanction of 94 posts, only has about 38 personnel on board, including six IPS officials and Director General Radha Vinod Raju.

The agency will investigate its initial cases and will also continue to recruit and strengthen of its skills simultaneously.

Home Minister P Chidambaram was not too happy with the progress being made in the operationalising of the NIA and was keen that it gets down to work fast. In fact, he had included it in the 100-day agenda of his ministry starting today.