Y C Modi, who probed the 2002 Gujarat riots, appointed NIA Chief

On Monday, the National Investigation Agency got its new Chief in Senior IPS officer Y C Modi. Modi is renowned for his work and contribution in the probe relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots. He was a part of the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team.

The National Investigation Agency was created in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks when the need for a central agency to counter terrorism was realized. The NIA can deal with terror situations across states without special permission from the states. The founding Director-General of NIA was Radha Vinod Raju and the agency is primarily involved in probing terrorism and terror-financing related cases.

Y C Modi will hold the post of Chief till his superannuation on May 31, 2021, as per an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

Additionally, The The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) sanctioned the appointment and approved Modi to take over as an officer on special duty (OSD) in NIA with immediate effect.

Earlier Modi was a batch officer of the 1984Assam-Meghalaya cadre and is at currently the special director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Sources: NDTV, Economic Times

Image source: Legend News


Husband moves SC to stop NIA probe in Kerala ‘Love Jihad’ case

On September 16, Shafeen Jahan, the husband of a woman in the Kerala Love Jihad case, approached the Supreme Court to stop the National Investigation Agency probe. According to Jahan, the agency is “not being fair”, and that the investigations were being carried out without the supervision of a retired judge, as stated earlier by the court.

In his petition to the apex court, Jahan also mentioned that his wife Hadiya, earlier known as Akhila, is under extreme physical and mental pressure by her family. According to the report in Hindustan Times, Jahan said ““She is confined to her room and not allowed to meet anyone. She was physically and mentally harassed by her relatives. Some of the Sangh Parivar outfits are also trying to threaten her.”

This case came to light in December last year, when Akhila Ashokan, a homeopathy doctor, converted to Islam and married Jahan. Her father, then moved to Kerala High Court alleging that his daughter was forcibly converted, after which their marriage was annulled in May this year. Moreover, in August 2017, the Supreme Court refused to stay the HC order and ordered NIA to probe into this marriage.

Sources: Business Standard, Hindustan Times

Yasin Bhatkal and Four Others Convicted for Hyderabad Twin Blasts, Sentenced to Death

Yasin Bhatkal and four other Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives were sentenced to death on December 19, 2016 in relation to the twin blasts in Hyderabad in 2013. The blasts which occurred at Dilshuk Nagar killed 130 people. Yasin Bhatkal is the founder of the terror outfit and this is the first time the National Investigative Agency (NIA) has convicted a top leader of the organisation.

Yasin Bhatkal, Haddi, Zia Ur Rehman, Mohammed Akhtar and Ajaz Shaikh were held guilty by an NIA court on December 13. However, the prime suspect and the mastermind behind the attack, Riyaz Bhatkal (Yasin Bhatkal’s brother) is on the run and is believed to be in Pakistan.

As reported by the Firstpost, “It was a wonderful investigation carried out by the team in which every evidence was examined minutely. This is the first ever conviction of Indian Mujahideen cadres,” said Sharad Kumar, Director General of NIA.

According to the Hindustan Times, “The NIA court felt that the twin blasts case falls in the category of rarest of rarest crimes and hence, all the five accused are liable for death sentence,” the National Investigation Agency (NIA) advocate told reporters.

Besides the death sentence, the court also imposed penalties ranging from Rs 5000 to Rs 10,000 on the five convicts.

Sources: Indian Express, Hindustan Times, NDTV, FirstPost

NIA finally ascertains identity of Yusuf Al Hindi; to be charge-sheeted on Tuesday

NIA has finally established the identity of the main undercover recruiter of ISIS as Shafi Armar, who worked on building up of modules to carry out multiplicity of terror attacks in various Indian cities. Armar, has been a former member of Indian Mujaheedin, who works for ISIS, under the cover of Yousuf al Hindi.
Armar’s name first floated up in 2014, when NIA was interrogating IS suspects in Ratlam, and thereafter in repeated succession while further interrogating other IS suspects. His primary task was to motivate and radicalize Indian youth in favor of a universal “Islamic caliphate”, rather than employing the more popular method of harping on local problems of Indian Muslims.
Successive raids on January 22 and January 23 on a pan-India basis including all major cities, helped NIA to unearth the Indian module, working under the banner of “Janud ul Khilafa al Hindi”. He was the lynch pin of all ISIS activities who also co-ordinated with other terror groups providing them financial and logistic support, to reap terror in India.
Shafi’s mode of preaching was primarily online, using social networking sites and apps. His literature on how to make bombs using household goods or how to make a light bulb detonator was popular among his disciples. Armar remains the only absconding member, who is now operating in Syria, while five others who are to be charge-sheeted in the pan-India remains in Tihar jail.

Sources : http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-bhatkal-man-confirmed-as-isis-operative-yusuf-al-hindi-2235893


NIA report can be taken as the first concrete indication of an insider role in the Pathankot attack

New Delhi: With the National Investigation Agency (NIA) escalating its prod into possible part of an insider element in the Pathankot attack, the security agencies’ worst fears could soon come true. As per investigations, it has been come to view that concertina wire atop the 10-ft boundary of the airbase was possibly cut from inside the wall. On seeing wire just after the attack had aroused doubt that it was not the terrorists, but possibly an associate inside who committed the act. The fact that the light at the location was not functioning only confirms the location was deliberately chosen by those who had prior information that the area would be dark.

As per sources in the NIA, a “massive work“was undertaken to examine whether any insider had helped the terrorists get into the base before the attack. In the process of getting information about enemy forces about the route taken to reach the airbase was probed; and if individuals within the airbase had helped the terrorists’ entry towards this end, the security agency is sifting through records of calls made from the airbase. Individuals keeping a watch on the external periphery on the day of the attack or just earlier to it, as well as the Pathankot airbase residents are being questioned to recollect any doubtful actions near the spot from where the terrorists made an entry.

The spot from where the enemy force crossed the outer periphery of the airbase was next to a firing range. The attacker hid in the opening between the raised embankment and the boundary wall, which ensured that the terrorists were not visible from the nearest post.

An IS suspect, has been sent on two days’ transit remand by a court in Bhopal for his production before a special court in New Delhi.  Sixteen people were detained by the NIA on December 9, 2015, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Source: Timesofindia.com

Punjab Cop gets clean chit in Pathankot Attacks

The senior superintendent police officer of Punjab, Salwinder Singh has been given a clean chit by the National Investigative Agency on Friday. Singh who was being questioned regarding the Pathankot terrorist attack was released after no evidence was found against his involvement in the lie detector test.

The investigators at NIA didn’t find anything to implicate him for the allegations made in accordance to the drug racket working in the border areas of Gurdaspur and Pathankot . Various search operations were carried out in his home town and other places in Amritsar by the agency after being enquired multiple times.

Salwinder Singh’s car was used by the terrorist who attacked the air base earlier this month, after they stole from him when he and his jeweller friend were driving. His friend who was attacked by the terrorists sustained injuries.

Singh has denied of the reports of his involvement in the cross border drug trafficking alleging that to be a reason of his contacts with Jaish-e-Mohammed who were solely responsible for the attacks on the 2000 acre air base in Punjab.

The attack on the airbase which continued for 80 hrs resulted in the death of seven army men and several others injured.


Source: ndtv.com


Punjab Police officer Salwinder Singh undergoes polygraph test

New Delhi: After a Delhi court gave its nod to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to conduct a lie-detector test on senior Punjab Police officer Salwinder Singh, the cop, on Tuesday, underwent a polygraph test in connection with NIA’s probe in the terrorist attack at Pathankot Air Force Base.

Mr Singh had agreed for a polygraph test after the NIA informed a designated court about alleged “inconsistencies” in his statements before Punjab Police and the NIA. Mr Singh, currently posted as Assistant Commandant of 75th Punjab Armed Police, has been under the scanner for making contradictory statements on his alleged abduction before the terror attack at Pathankot air base.

According to NIA DG, the cop is being interrogated as he is a suspect in the case. He has also commented that the investigating agency is collecting evidence as demanded by Pakistan.

Mr Singh’s interrogation, by a team of experts from Central Forensic and Scientific Laboratory, will continue on Wednesday, official sources said. The prime reason of questioning Mr Singh is to ascertain the sequence of actions that took place after he was abducted on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 by the terrorists.

Mr Singh’s statement that he and the cook were freed, whereas one of their friends, Rajesh Verma, who was also travelling with them, had been left bleeding midway by the terrorists, have raised questions.

Another statement of Mr Singh, where he claims to have been returning from a shrine, which he often visited, was found to be allegedly incorrect after the NIA questioned the dargah caretaker Somraj. The caretaker told the probing agency that the police officer had come for the first time.

An NIA official said that the agency is only looking for correct sequence of events, so that the investigations can move in right direction.

Article sources: The Hindu, IBN Live