- The National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted multiple raids across several locations in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
What is the NIA?
- NIA is functioning as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency in the country.
- It is mandated to investigate all the offences affecting the sovereignty, security and integrity of India, friendly relations with foreign states, and the offences under the statutory laws enacted to implement international treaties, agreements, conventions and resolutions of the United Nations, its agencies and other international organisations.
- These include terror acts and their possible links with crimes like smuggling of arms, drugs and fake Indian currency and infiltration from across the borders. The agency has the power to search, seize, arrest and prosecute those involved in such offences.
- Headquartered in Delhi, the NIA has its branches in several parts of the country.
When did the NIA come into being?
- In the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack in November 2008, which shocked the entire world, the central government decided to establish the NIA.
- The agency came into existence on December 31, 2008, and started its functioning in 2009.
- NIA was created mainly to specialize in investigations into incidents of terrorist attacks and bomb blasts in various parts of the country. Majority of such incidents were found to have complex inter-state and international linkages while at the same time being linked to drug and arms smuggling among other activities.
What are the scheduled offences?
- The list includes the Explosive Substances Act, Atomic Energy Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Anti-Hijacking Act, Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Civil Aviation Act, SAARC Convention (Suppression of Terrorism) Act, Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act and relevant offences under the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act and the Information Technology Act.
- In 2020, the Centre empowered the NIA to also probe offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act that are connected to terror cases.
How wide is the NIA’s jurisdiction?
- The law under which the agency operates extends to the whole of India and also applies to Indian citizens outside the country; persons in the service of the government wherever they are posted; persons on ships and aircraft registered in India wherever they may be; persons who commit a scheduled offence beyond India against the Indian citizen or affecting the interest of India.