National Investigation Agency


Regular Member
Apr 8, 2009
National Investigation Agency (NIA) is a new federal agency approved by the Indian Government to combat terror in India. The agency will be empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states. The National Investigation Agency Bill 2008 to create the agency was moved in Parliament by Union Home Minister on 16 December 2008. [1] [2] [3] NIA was created after the Nov 2008 Mumbai terror attacks as need for a central agency to combat terrorism was realised.

Radha Vinod Raju, Special Director General of Police in Jammu and Kashmir, is appointed as Director General of the newly established National Investigation Agency (NIA). A 1975-batch IPS officer, 59-year-old Raju, who heads the vigilance department in the militancy-hit state, will be the head of the NIA till January 31, 2010, an official spokesperson said.

He was selected for the coveted post considering his wide knowledge and experiences in investigating high-profile cases, including assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Union Home Minister P Chidambaram recommended Raju's name which was signed by Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Raju so as to enable his deputation to the Centre. He was to retire on July 31, this year. Raju, who has served in various capacities in CBI and returned to his parent cadre after being promoted as Additional Director in the investigating agency, also had a stint in the vigilance department. Serving as head of the Vigilance Bureau in Jammu and Kashmir earlier, Raju streamlined the department which was in shackles due to the ongoing militancy. The government had also sought views on it from various investigating and intelligence agencies, including the CBI, Intelligence Bureau and newly constituted National Technical Research Organisation. A Bill for the formation of the much-talked about National Investigation Agency was cleared by Parliament in December last year. As per the proposal, NIA will have concurrent jurisdiction which empowers the Centre to probe terror attacks in any part of the country, covering offences, including challenge to the country's sovereignty and integrity, bomb blasts, hijacking of aircraft and ships, and attacks on nuclear installations. The organisations, from which views have been elicited, have favoured an Indian Police Service official to head NIA. The ground staff of the agency in the national capital could be drawn from existing central staff and security organisations while in the states, permanent deputation from the state police could be taken. Other than offenses of terrorism, it will deal with counterfeit currency, human trafficking, narcotics or drugs, organised crime (extortion mobs and gangs), plane hijacking and violations of atomic energy act and weapons of mass destruction act. [4] [5]

The National Investigative Agency Bill and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill on Tuesday, 30 Dec, 2008,became a law as President Pratibha Patil gave her assent to the legislation which were passed in the last session of Parliament.

Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters that the presidential assent has been received on 30 Dec 2008. He said the NIA will get its Director General in a few days.

"NIA will be established to investigate terrorist offences. As and when any case is assigned to the NIA, it will take up investigation," he said. Home minister Chidambaram told media persons that the work is in progress to set up 20 counter insurgency and anti-terrorism schools in the country which will train personnel to tackle cases involving terrorists. The Home Minister also announced that a round the clock information gathering and sharing centre on terrorism has come into effect from today. He said the Ministry will soon bring before the Cabinet a note on establishing National Security Guards hubs in four main cities of the country and more such hubs will be set up in other cities as well.

Some of the salient features of NIA are-

The Bill for constitution of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to be applicable to whole of India, citizens of India outside India and persons on ships and aircraft registered in India.
Officers of the NIA to have all powers, privileges and liabilities which the police officers have in connection with investigation of any offence.
The police officer in charge of a police station on receipt of the report of the offence shall forward it to the state government which in turn will send it to the Centre.
If the Centre feels the offence is terror related, it shall direct the NIA for investigation.
Provision for transfer of investigation and trial of offences to state government with Centre's prior approval.
NIA may investigate other offences connected with terror-related offences.
A state government shall extend all assistance to NIA for investigation of terror-related offences.
Provisions of the Act with regard to investigation shall not affect powers of the state government to investigate and prosecute any terror crime or other offences.
The Centre shall constitute special courts for trial of terror-related offences.
Special Courts may sit at any place for any of its proceedings.
For speedy and fair trial, the Supreme Court may transfer any case pending with the special court to another special court in the same state or any other state, and the High Court may transfer such cases to any other special court within the state.
Offences punishable with imprisonment for less than three years may be tried summarily.
Bill for federal agency tabled in Lok Sabha
Special court to have all powers of the court of sessions under CrPC for trial of any offence under the Act.
Proceedings to be held 'in camera' if special court deems it necessary.
Trial to be held on day-to-day basis on all working days and to have precedence over the trial of other offences.
State governments empowered to constitute one or more special courts.
No appeal shall be entertained after the expiry of 90 days. Highlights of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2008.
Use of bombs, dynamite, poisons or noxious gases, biological radioactive nuclear substances are terror act.
Aiding, abetting or committing a terrorist act shall be punishable with imprisonment up to ten years.
Funding terror activities, organising training camps and recruiting persons for committing terror acts shall be punishable with at least five years' imprisonment.
Detention of accused up to 180 days if investigation not completed.
No bail shall be granted if accused is not an Indian citizen and has entered the country unauthorisedly.
No accused, if in custody, to be released on bail or on his own bond.
Court shall presume, unless contrary is shown, that accused has committed offence.
National Investigation Agency
Common name NIA
Agency overview
Formed 2009,
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency India
Governing body Government of India
General nature
Federal law enforcement
Civilian agency
Operational structure
Headquarters New Delhi, India
Parent agency Department of Personnel and Training


Regular Member
Apr 8, 2009
The National Technical Research Organisation

The National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) is a premier apex scientific organization under the National Security Advisor in the Prime Minister's Office, India. It was set up in 2004. It also includes National Institute of Cryptology Research and Development (NICRD), which is first of its kind in Asia. The National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) {originally known as the National Technical Facilities Organization (NTFO)} is a high...


Regular Member
Apr 8, 2009
Spies walk in from the cold Man

New Delhi, December 26
They are being taken out of the closets, ‘dusted’ and put on the job that they had been doing for long before retirement. Also, capable officers and men are being sourced from the police, armed forces and paramilitary organisations for human, electronic and technical surveillance.

India’s newest secret agency — the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) — operating under the Prime Minister’s Office has been given a massive assignment to tab Pakistan, Bangadesh and China’s imagery and communications intelligence, using various platforms, including satellites.

Yes, the terrorist attacks in Mumbai (November 26-29) have shaken the Indian domestic and foreign intelligence gathering agencies so much that they are now trying to set their house in order.

Intelligence agencies have become conscious of their inadequacies and of the gaps in their knowledge. The ‘new terrorism’ is demanding a revamped intelligence apparatus at the national level and a reinforced co-operation mechanism at the regional and international levels.

Foreign spy agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), and domestic espionage organisation, Intelligence Bureau, have realised that they lack enough ‘HUMINT’ — human intelligence — assets to prevent Mumbai like incidents.

Both RAW and IB are finding it difficult to develop ‘moles’ in the Pakistani system, especially the terrorist groups operating from across the border. “This is because we still do not play much the game of penetration in the enemy ranks,” a highly placed IB officer said, observing that “it is easier to penetrate the sensitive establishments of an adversary state than a terrorist organisation.”

The Mumbai episode has added urgency to the intelligence gathering agencies to develop human intelligence at a larger scale. Not only RAW and IB, economic and other espionage agencies have also been asked to enlarge their base.

Even those men who retired about a decade ago have been contacted with offer to rejoin ‘the company’ again at the rank and salary that they would have been having at this stage. Some of them have refused as they are well-placed in private jobs and it would be difficult for them to disappear again in the world of shadows.

But there are many who have happily given their consent to be back in the field. A senior officer, who retired recently, has been re-hired in one of the spy agencies. Then there are men who have been asked to operate under the cover of their private jobs. New stations are being opened in sensitive cities and border states.

In the NTRO, a preference is being given to those who have a flair for gathering technical intelligence. Many officers from the air force and army’s signal corps have been taken on deputation.

Operating as an ‘allied’ organisation of RAW, the NTRO is trying to develop itself on the lines of America’s National Security Agency (NSA), which is one of the most secretive members of the US intelligence community.

The NTRO’s mandate is not to affect the working of technical wings of various intelligence agencies, including those of armed forces. The NTRO has been instructed to emerge as a super-feeder agency for providing technical intelligence to other agencies on internal and external security.

America has the most sophisticated ‘SIGINT’ (signals intelligence) assets in the world. These assets include spy satellites and planes. These assets are also being used to detect terrorists by intercepting their phone, computer, e-mail and radio communications.

In the Mumbai attacks, the gunmen used technology to gain a tactical advantage. They reportedly carried Blackberries, CDs holding high-resolution satellite images like those used for Google Earth maps, and multiple cell phones with switchable SIM cards that would be hard to track.

Using satellite phones, the gunmen communicated with their leaders abroad, calling voice-over-Internet-protocol phone numbers, making them harder to trace. This was terrorism in digital age.

Like American, Indian intelligence experts are, however, realising that the technological assets still cannot replace the importance of human intelligence assets. Human operatives are still needed to infiltrate and uncover the plans of terrorist groups.

Spending on intelligence gathering through human resources has substantially declined in the militarily powerful western nations in past one decade. But more resources are now being directed toward to improve ‘human intelligence’ devoted to combat terrorists.

Indian agencies, especially RAW, are good in technical intelligence. But after realising that they now have to have ‘specific intelligence’ about terrorism activities -not vague as the country came to know after the Mumbai attacks - RAW and IB have gone for the ‘recruitment drive’ to enroll retired experienced men for field and desk jobs. Specialists are much in demand.

“The idea is to substantially increase the number of new sources reporting on terrorism as the job of tracking terrorists is not becoming easier,” a RAW source said.

Despite this, experts point out that failures there have been and failures there will be. No intelligence agency in the world, whatever are its human and material resources and its technical and technological capability, can claim or hope to be all-knowing. “What is required,” as an old guard put it, “There is need to reduce the gap between failures and success.”

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