Lok Sabha have after a heated debate passed a bill to give more powers to the National Investigation Agency with Union Home Minister Amit Shah asserting that the law will be used to finish off terrorism and not to target any community, reported PTI.
The amendments to the NIA Act will allow the agency to probe terrorist acts against Indians and Indian interests abroad, cybercrimes and cases of human trafficking.
The NIA was set up in 2009 in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack that had claimed 166 lives. Since 2017, the Union home ministry has been pushing for giving more power to the NIA to meet fresh challenges.
Defending the bill, the government refuted opposition’s claims of “misuse” of the NIA law to target members of a community and asserted its only goal is to finish off terrorism.
In an intervention during the discussion on National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Home Minister Amit Shah said Parliament should speak in one voice in giving powers to the NIA to send out a message to terrorists and the world.
Some MPs said the anti-terror law is misused at times to target members of a particular community.
“Let me make it clear the Modi government has no such intention. Its only goal is to finish off terrorism but we will also not look at the religion of the accused while taking action,” Shah said.