Focus: GS-III Internal Security, Prelims
Why in news?
- Several teams of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 26th February 2020 conducted multiple searches in the Kashmir Valley targeting the Jaish-e-Mohammed ( JeM) and its supporters.
- Searches were conducted at- at least five locations in a fresh clampdown against the militant outfit.
- JeM Commander Zahid Ahmed Wani’s House Raided.
- The brother of the active ‘commander’, Shoaib Ahmed Wani, was arrested in connection with the Nagrota toll plaza attack in Jammu on January 31
What is NIA?
- The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is a state agency established by the Indian Government to combat terror in India.
- It acts as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency.
- The agency is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states.
- The Agency came into existence with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008 by the Parliament of India on 31 December 2008.
- Headquartered in New Delhi, the NIA has branches in Hyderabad, Guwahati, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Kolkata, Raipur and Jammu.
- It maintains NIA Most Wanted list.
What is NIA (Amendment) Bill?
- The NIA (Amendment) Bill 2019 was passed by the parliament on 17 July 2019.
- The Bill aims to give more teeth to the investigating powers of the NIA.
- It empowers the NIA to probe terror attacks targeting Indians and Indian interests abroad.
- The amended legislation, which aims to primarily empower the anti-terror agency to investigate scheduled offences such as human trafficking; circulation of fake currency; manufacture and sale of prohibited arms; and cyber-terrorism, was passed with a majority of 278 votes in favour and six against in the Lok Sabha.
- It was also passed in the Rajya Sabha after those opposed to it staged a walkout.
- This amendment will now also allow NIA to investigate the Sri Lanka Easter Bombings.
Pulwama in the Past
- After 14 February 2019, when Pakistan based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber attacked CRPF convoy in Pulwama, killing 40 CRPF soldiers, tensions between India and Pakistan escalated.
- Later on February 26 Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out counter-terror operation (Balakot Air Strike), hitting what it claimed was a JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on 26 February 2019.
- Then on 27 February the PAF retaliated and in an aerial combat between India and Pakistan, India lost its MiG-21 Bison aircraft and its pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who allegedly shot down PAF’s F-16 fighter aircraft was captured by Pakistan. He was later released and handed over to India on March 1.
- Pulwama is a city and a notified area council in Pulwama district, in India’s northern union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
- It is almost 25 km (16 mi) from the summer capital of Srinagar. Pulwama is often called the “Anand of Kashmir” (the joy, the delight), but also the “Dudha-Kul of Kashmir” (the milk) on account of its high milk production.