State gives nod for NIA office in Mumbai

The state government has okayed the setting up a National Investigation Agency (NIA) office in Mumbai.

Minister R R Patil said Tuesday, "The ministry of home has cleared the proposal. All critical inter-state cases and those related to terror activities can be directly registered in and probed by this office.

"At present, all cases are registered in police stations and referred to NIA only when some facts come to light in the course of investigation." Patil dismissed apprehension in some quarters that NIA may emerge a parallel power centre in Mumbai.

The home minister said, "Several governments were tooth and nail opposed to the setting up of NIA arguing law and order was a state matter. Maharashtra was among the first to give approval to NIA.

"The role of police cannot be undermined by any investigation agency."

The decision is explained by the fact that Mumbai has been a victim of the worst terrorist attacks. Being the financial capital, it has to tackle complex issues related to internal and external security.

The home minister admitted, "Although NIA will have its own set-up, including officers, there will be coordination between state police and ATS."

"In most bomb blast cases it is found that operators in Maharashtra have networks and links in other states as well. NIA, a central agency, can play a significant role in investigating cases with links in multiple states."

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