NIA ;to take over terror suspects' case

CCB hopes to chargesheet 15 youths arrested in Aug by Feb

 The Central Crime Branch (CCB) police will hand over investigation of the case pertaining to the arrest of 15 terror suspects in August this year to the National Investigating Agency (NIA) shortly.

“The Union government directed the State government to hand over the case to the NIA a month ago through the Ministry of Home Affairs. The formalities of handing over the case are nearing completion and in all probability the NIA will take over the case from CCB in another 10 days,” a senior police officer handling the case told Deccan Herald.

The NIA officials, who have also been simultaneously interrogating the suspects, will continue the probe in Bangalore. They might take them to different locations, including Delhi, for further probe if needed.

“The CCB team will continue to be part of the investigation, along with the NIA,” Joint Commissioner of Police (East division crime) Dayananda said. It is not yet known if the NIA branch officers in Karnataka will head the probe or officers from Delhi will be assigned the responsibility.

“The Central government decided to assign the job to the NIA as many states would have suffered the impact if the agenda of the suspects was realised. Moreover, the intelligence agencies believe that the suspects may have played some role in terrorist activities in the recent past. The decision does not mean that the CCB has failed to prove its point,” sources in the CCB said.

Advocates for the suspects alleged that the Bangalore police did not have enough grounds for the arrests. The police acted hurriedly and were finding it difficult to prove their point, they said.

“We can’t disclose the latest status of the investigation as it is a sensitive matter. The police can’t comment on speculations. Those handling the case know the story very well. The police are working on some definite information,” Dayananda said.

When asked whether the police were confident of proving the case, he said: ”We will definitely place before the court all evidences we have obtained so far. It is up to the court to decide.”

“It has inter-state, national and security ramifications. The situation is too sensitive. Considering these points, the Central government has directed the NIA to take over. The Central government’s decision itself means so much and justifies the police stand,” said Dayananda.

Masterminds still at large

Three masterminds, who are believed to be hiding in Saudi Arabia, are yet to be arrested. 

The Interpol has issued a red corner notice to arrest the trio - Usman Gani, Abdul Mazid and Shahid Faizal, all from Hubli. They were handling the suspects in Bangalore. The trio came in contact with the youth as they all belonged to Hubli. The suspects had targets in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra.

Police teams of nearly 10 states have interrogated the suspects in Bangalore, besides the NIA. Currently, they have been kept in the high security cell in the Central Prisons, Parappana Agrahara.

The police arrested 11 of them on August 29 and four others a few days later. The police have six months’ time to file the charge sheet and are hoping to do so by February next year. 

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